The Portraiture of Edward the Second KING of ENGLAND, Lord of Ireland. Having Raig. 19. Yeares and 7. Months, was Murdered at BARKLEY-CASTLE at 43. Yeares of Age.

[Page] THE HISTORY OF The LIFE, REIGN, and DEATH OF EDWARD II. King of England, AND LORD of IRELAND. WITH The Rise and Fall of [...] great Favourites, GAVESTON and the SPENCERS.

Written by E. F. in the year 1627. And Printed verbatim from the Original.

Qui nescit Dissimulare, nequit vivere, perire, melius.

LONDON: Printed by J. C. for Charles Harper, at the Flower-de-luce in Fleet-street; Samuel Crouch, at the Princes Arms in Popes-head-Alley in Cornhil; and Thomas Fox, at the Angel in Westminster-hall. 1680.



THou hast here presented to thy View the Life and Death of Edward the Second, one of the most Unfortunate Princes that ever swayed the English Scepter. What it was that made him so, is left to thee to judge, when thou hast read his Story. But certainly the Falsness of his Queen, and the Flattery of those Court-Parasites, Gaveston and the Spencers, did contribute not a little thereto.

As for the Gentleman that wrote this History, his own following Preface to the Reader will give some short Account, as also of the Work it self, together with the Designe and Time of its writing, which was above Fifty years since. And this we think we may say, (and perswade our selves that upon the perusal thou wilt be of the same opinion) that he was every every way qualified for an Historian. And 'bating a few obsolete words, (which shew the Antiquity of the Work) we are apt to believe those days produced very few who were able to express their Conceptions in so Masculine a Stile.

We might easily enlarge in our Commendations of this Excellent History; but it needs not; and therefore we leave it to thee to read and judge.


TO out-run those weary hours of a deep and sad Passion, my melancholy Pen fell accidentally on this Historical Re­lation; which speaks a King, our own, though one of the most Vnfortunate; and shews the Pride and Fall of his Inglorious Minions.

I have not herein followed the dull Character of our Historians, nor amplified more than they infer, by Circumstance. I strive to please the Truth, not Time; nor fear I Censure, since at the worst, 'twas but one Month mis-spended; which cannot promise ought in right Perfection.

If so you hap to view it, tax not my Errours; I my self confess them.

E. F.

THE RAIGN and DEATH OF Edward the Second.

EDWARD the Second, eldest Son of Edward the First and Elenor the vertuous Sister of the Castilian King, was born at Carnarvan April 25. 1284.; and in the most resplendant pride of his age, immediately after the decease of his noble Father, crowned King of England July 1307.. The principal Lea­ders of the Rebellious Welshmen, Fluellen and Meredith, being taken and executed, the Combustions of the Cam­bro-Britains were quieted and settled in an uniform Obe­dience. The Scots, by the resignation of Baliol, the ex­ecution of Wallis, and the expulsion of Bruce their pre­tended King, were reduced to their first Monarchy, and brought to an absolute subjection, at such time as he took upon him the Regiment of this then glorious Kingdom. If we may credit the most antient Historians that speak of the Princes and Passages of those times, this Royal Branch was of an Aspect fair and lovely, carrying in his outward appearance many promising Predictions of a sin­gular expectation. But the judgment, not the eye, must have the preheminence in point of Calculation and Cen­sure. The smoothest waters are for the most part most deep and dangerous; and the goodliest Blossoms nipt by an unkindly Frost, wither, or produce their fruit sowre or unwholsome: which may properly imply, That the visible Calendar is not the true Character of inward Per­fection; evidently proved in the Life, Raign, and Death [Page 2] of this unfortunate Monarch. His Story speaks the Mor­ning fair, the Noon-tide eclipsed, and the sad Evening of his Life more memorable by his untimely Death and Ru­ine. He could not have been so unworthy a Son of so noble a Father, nor so inglorious a Father of so excellent a Son, if either Vertue or Vice had been hereditary. Our Chronicles, as they parallel not him in his licentious Er­rours, so do they rarely equal the Wisdom and Valour of the one that went before, and the other that imme­diately succeeded him. Neither was this degenerate Corruption in him transcendent from the womb that bare him, since all Writers agree his Mother to be one of the most pious and illustrious pieces of Female-goodness that is registred in those memorable Stories of all our Royal Wedlocks. But the divine Ordinances are inscrutable, and not to be questioned; it may else seem justly wor­thy admiration, how so crooked a Plant should spring from a Tree so great and glorious. His younger years discovered a softly, sweet, and milde temper, pliable e­nough to the impressions of Vertue; when he came to write Man, he was believ'd over-liberally wanton, but not extreamly vicious. The Royal honour of his Birth-right was scarcely invested in his person, when Time (the Touchstone of Truth) shews him to the world a meer Imposture; in Conversation light, in Condition way­ward, in Will violent, and in Passion furious and irre­conciliable.

Edw. 1's care in e­ducating his Son. Edward, his valiant and prudent Father, had, by the glory of his victorious Arms, and the excellency of his Wisdom and Providence, laid him the sure foundation of a happy Monarchy; making it his last and greatest care to continue it so in his succession. This caus'd him to employ his best understanding and labour for the en­abling of his Son, that he might be powerful, fit, and worthy to perfect this great Work, and preserve it. And from this Consideration he leads him to the Scotch Wars, to teach him the right use of Arms, which are to [Page 3] be managed as well by discretion as valour, and the ad­vantage of time and opportunity, which lead humane Actions by the hand to their perfection. Here he like­wise instructs him with those more excellent Rules of Knowledge and Discipline, that he might exactly know what it was, and how to obey before he came to com­mand. Lastly, he unlocks the Closet of his heart, and lays before him those same Arcana Imperii and secret my­steries of State, which are onely proper to the Royal O­perations, and lie not in the road of Vulgar knowledge; yet letting him withal know, that all these were too weak to support the burthen of a Crown, if there be not a correspondent worth in him that wears it. With these grave Principles the prudent Father opening the way, soon perceives he had a remaining task of a much harder tem­per; with an unwilling eye he beholds in his Son many sad remonstrances which intimate rather a natural vicious inclination, than the corruption of time, or want of ability to command it. Unless these might be taken off and cleansed, he imagines all his other Cautions would be use­less and to little purpose. The pruning of the Branches would improve the Fruit little, where the Tree was tain­ted in the root with so foul a Canker. Too well he knew how difficult a thing it was to invert the course of Nature, especially being confirm'd by continuance of pra­ctice, and made habituary by custom: yet he leaves no means unattempted; being confident that Wedlock, or the sad weight of a Crown, would in the sense of Ho­nour call him in time off to thoughts more innocent and noble. Tenderness of Fatherly affection abus'd some­what his belief, and made him give his disorderly actions the best construction, which suggests their progression to flow from heat of Youth, want of Experience, and the wickedness of those that fed him with so base impressions; which, with all those sweet and milde intreaties that spring from the heart of an essential love, he strives to reclaim, intermixing withal as great a paternal severity as might [Page 4] properly sute the condition of a judicious Father, and the dignity of the Heir apparent of so great and glorious a Kingdom. And to make him more apt and fit to receive and follow his instructions, he takes from him those tain­ted humours of his Leprosie, that seduced the easiness of his nature, and mis-led his unripe knowledge, too green to master such sweet and bewitching temptations. Banishes Gaveston. Ga­veston his Ganymede, a man as base in Birth as in Condi­tion, he commandeth to perpetual Exile. Gaveston's Original and Cha­racter.This Syren (as some write) came out of Gascoign; but the Author whom I most credit and follow, speaks him an Italian; not guilty of any drop of Noble blood; neither could he from the height of his Hereditary hope, challenge more than a bare ability to live; yet his thoughts were above measure ambitious and aspiring, and his confidence far greater than became his Birthright. Nature in his outward parts had curiously exprest her workmanship, gi­ving him in shape and Beauty so perfect an excellence, that the most curious eye could not discover any manifest er­rour, unless it were in his Sex alone, since he had too much for a man, and Perfection enough to have equal'd the fairest Female splendour that breath'd within the Confines of this Kingdom. Though in the abilities of the Brain he were short of a deep and solid Knowledge, yet he had Understanding enough to manage his ways to their best advantage; having a smooth Tongue, an hum­ble Look, and a winning Behaviour, which he could at all times fashion and vary according to the condition of time and circumstance for the most advantage. The youthful Prince having fixed his wandring eye upon this pleasing Object, and finding his amorous Glances entertained with so gentle and well-becoming a modesty, begins dearly to cherish the growing Affections of this new For­raign Acquaintance; who applies himself wholly to win him to a deeper Engagement. A short passage of time had so cemented their hearts, that they seem'd to beat with one and the self-same motion; so that the one seem'd [Page 5] without the other, like a Body without a Soul, or a Sha­dow without a Substance. Gaveston, the more to assure so gracious a Master, strives to fit his humour, leaving his Honour to his own protection, seconding his wanton dis­position with all those bewitching Vanities of licentious and unbridled Youth, which in short time, by the fre­quencie of practice, begets such a confidence, that they fall from that reserved secrecy which should shadow acti­ons so unworthy, professing freely a debaucht and dis­solute kind of behaviour, to the shame and sorrow of the grieved King and Kingdom. This hastened on the Sentence of his Banishment, that thought himself then most secure in the assurance of the Princes favour. The me­lancholy apparitions of their parting, gave the world a firm belief that this inchanting Mountebank had in the Cabi­net of his Masters heart, too dear a room and being. The King knowing such impressions are easily won, but hardly lost, strives to take him off by degrees, and la­bours to make him wave the memory of that dotage which with a divining Spirit he foresaw in time would be his ruine. But death overtakes him before he could bring this so good a Work to full perfection. The time was come that exacts the Tribute of Nature, commanding him to resigne both his Estate and Kingdom. When he felt those cold fore-running Harbingers of his nearly-approaching End, he thus intreats his Son and Lords, whose watry eyes ingirt his glorious Death-bed.

Edw. 1's Dying-Speech to the Prince & Barons.
Edward, the time draws near that calls [...] me to my Grave, you to enjoy this Kingdom. If you prove good, with happi­ness 'tis yours, and you will so preserve it; if otherwise, my Pains and Glory will be your Dishonour. To be a King, it is the gift of Nature; and Fortune makes him so that is by Conquest; but Royal Goodness is the gift of Heaven, that bles­seth Crowns with an Immortal Glory. Believe not vainly that so great a Calling is given to man to warrant his dis­order. It is a Blessing, yet a weighty Burthen, which (if [Page 6] abused) breaks his back that bears it. Your former Er­rours, now continued, are no more yours, they are the Kings, which will betray the Kingdom. The Soveraigns Vice be­gets the Subjects Errour, who practise good or ill by his Ex­ample. Can you in Justice punish them for that whereof your self are guilty? But you, perhaps, may think your self ex­empt, that are above the Law. Alas, mistake not; there are Injunctions higher far than are your own, will crave a Rec­koning. To be belov'd, secures a sweet Obedience; but fear betrays the heart of true Subjection, and makes your People yours but by Compulsion. Majestick thoughts, like Elemental fire, should tend still upwards; when they sink lower than their Sphere, they win Contempt and Hatred. Advance and cherish those of ancient Bloud and Greatness: Vpstarts are rais'd with Envy, kept with Danger. You must pre­serve a well-respected distance, as far from Pride, as from too loose a Baseness. Master your Passions with a noble temper; such Triumphs makes the Victor conquer others. See here the Ruines of a dying Scepter, that once was, as you are, a youthful Blossom. I had not liv'd to see this snowy Winter, but that I weau'd my heart from vain Temptations; my Judgment, not my Eye, did steer my Compass, which gave my Youth this Age that ends in Glory. I will not say, you too too long have wander'd, though my sad heart hath droopt to see your Errour. The time now fitly calls you home; em­brace it: for this advantage lost, is after hopeless. Your First-fruit must make good your Worth; if that miscarry, you wound your Subjects Hopes and your own Glory. Those wanton Pleasures of wild Youth unmaster'd, may no more touch the verge of your affections. The Royal Actions must be grave and steady, since lesser Lights are fed by their Example: so great a Glory must be pure transparent, that hand to hand encounters Time and Envy. Cast off your former Consorts; if they sway you, such an unnoble President will shake your Peace, and wound your Honour. Your wanton Minion I so lately banisht, call you not back, I charge you on my Blessing: for his return will hasten your destruction. Such Cankers [Page 7] may not taste your ear or favour, but in a modest and chast proportion. Let true-born Greatness manage great Employ­ments; they are most fit that have a native goodness. Mu­shroms in State that are preferr'd by dotage, open the Gap to Hate and Civil Tumult. You cannot justly blame the Great ones Murmur, if they command that are scarce fit to serve them; such sudden leaps must break his neck that ventures, and shake that Crown which gives his Wings their motion. And you, my Lords, that witness this last Summons, you in whose Loyal hearts your Soveraign flourisht, continue still a sweet and vertuous Concord; temper the heat of my youthful Successor, that he may prove as good, as great in Title. Main­tain the Sentence was by me pronounced; keep still that Vi­per hence that harbours mischief: if he return, I fear 'twill be your Ruine. It is my last Request; I, dying, make it, which I do firmly hope you will not blemish. I would say more, but, ah, my Spirits fail me.

With this, he fainting, swoons; at length recovers, and sadly silent, longs to hear their Answer. His weeping Son and heavy drooping Barons, do mutually protest a strict Observance, and vow to keep, with truth, this grave Injunction. His jealous Spirit is not yet contented, They swear not to recal Gaveston.until they binde it with an Oath, and swear performance. Scarce was it ended, when he mildly leaves the world more confident than he had cause; as a short passage of time made plain and evident. Dead mens Prescriptions seldom tie the living, where Conscience awes not those that are intrusted. Mortui non mordent, which gives to humane frailty a seeming uncontrouled power of such Injustice. To trust to Vows or Oaths, is equal hazard; he that will wound his Soul with one, can wave the o­ther. If Vertue, Goodness, and Religion tye not, a Death-bed Charge and solemn Oaths are fruitless. Here you may see it instanc'd: This great King, as wise as fortunate, living, had the Obedience of a Father and a Soveraign; who, scarcely cold in his Mother Earth, was [Page 8] soon lost in the memory both of Son and Subject. His Funeral-tears (the fruits of form rather than truth) newly dryed up, and his Ceremonial Rites ended, his Heir assumes the Crown and Scepter; while all mens eyes were fixed to behold the first Virgin-works of his Greatness: so many glorious and brave victorious Con­quests having given this Warlike Nation life and spirit fit for present Action. The youthful King being in the bra­very of his years, won a belief in the active Souldier, that so apt a Scholar as he had shew'd himself in the Art Mili­tary during the Scotish Wars, would handsel the Maiden-head of his Crown with some Out-ringing Larum that might waken the Neighbour-Provinces, and make them know his Power. But his inglorious Aims were bent a­nother way; neither to settle his own, or conquer o­thers. He had within his breast an unnatural Civil War which gains the first preheminence in his Resolution. His care is to quiet these in a Course wholly unjust, and most unworthy his proper goodness. Seeing himself now free and absolute, he thinks it not enough, unless his Will as well as his Power, were equally obey'd. Being a Son and a Subject, his Conformity had witness'd his Obe­dience; being now a Soveraign and a King, he expects a Correspondence of the self-same nature. The young King trou­bled at his Oath.The sad Re­strictions of his dying Father, so contrarious to his aims, trouble his unquiet thoughts; where the Idea of his ab­sent love did hold so firm a footing. With ease he can dispence with his own engagement; but fears the Lords, whom he conceits too firmly fixt to waver. He dares not Communicate the depth of his Resolution, being a secret of too great weight to be divulged; he thinks in­treaty an act too much beneath him; and to attempt at random, full of hazard. In these his restless passions, he out-runs the Honey-month of his Empire; looking asquint upon the necessary Actions of State, that requir'd his more vigilant care and foresight. This kind of reclus'd beha­viour makes him unpleasant to his Lords, and nothing [Page 9] plausible to the inferiour sort of Subjects, who expect the beginning Acts of a Crown to be affable and gracious; which wins ground by degrees on vulgar Affections, ma­king the way sure to a willing Obedience. But he e­steems this as a work of Supererogation, believing the bare Tye of Duty was enough, without confirmation: all his thoughts are entirely fixt upon his Gaveston; with­out him he cannot be, yet how to get him handsomly, without a Scar, is quite without his knowledge. He concludes it in his secret Revolutions, too great an In­justice, that confines the King from the free use and pos­session of his nearest and dearest Affection; and cannot imagine it to be reason, that his private Appetite should subscribe to publick necessity. Falls into the height of melan­choly.In these kind of imaginary Disputations, he brings himself to the height of such an inward agitation, that he falls into a sad retired Melan­choly; while all men (as they justly might) won­der'd, but few did know the reason: Amongst these, a Page of his Chamber, one that had an oyly tongue (a fit instrument for such a Physician) adventures the care of this diseased Passion. This green States-man, with a fore­right look, strives rather to please, than to advise; caring not what succeeds, so he may make it the Stair of his Preferment. The Cha­racter and danger of Court-Pa­rasites.The Court-corruption ingenders a world of these Caterpillers, that, to work their own ends, value not at one blow to hazard both the King and Kingdom. The Errour is not so properly theirs, as their Masters, who do countenance and advance such Sycophants; lea­ving the integrity of hearts more honest (that would sa­crifice themselves in his Service in the true way of Ho­nour) wholly contemn'd and neglected: which hath begotten so many desperate Convulsions, that have (as we may finde in our own Stories) deposed divers glo­rious Kings from their proper Dignity, and lawful Inhe­ritance. There are too many frequent Examples what mischief such Parasitical Minions have wrought to those several States they liv'd in; and certainly such Revolu­tions [Page 10] succeed by a necessary and inevitable Justice: for where the Royal Ear is so guided, there ensues a general Subversion of all Law and Goodness; as you may be­hold here evidently in this unfortunate King, who wil­lingly entertains this fawning Orator, that thus presents his Counsel.

A Cour­tiers Speech to the King, to recal Gaveston.
Are you a King (Great Sir) and yet a Subject? can you Command, and yet must yield Obedience? Then leave your Scepter. The Law of Nature gives the poorest their Affections; are you restrained? It is your own Injustice that makes your Will admit this separation: if you com­mand, who dares controul your Actions, which ought to be obeyed, and not disputed? Say that your wayward Lords do frown, or murmur, will you for this forbear your own Contentment? One rough Majestick glaunce will charm their anger. Admit great Edward did command Obedience, he then was King, your Sovereign, and your Father; he now is dead, and you enjoy his Power; will you yet still obey and serve his shadow? His Vigour dull'd with Age, could not give Laws to suit your Youth and Spirit; nor is it proper that the Regal Power be made a stranger to his own Con­tentment, or be debarr'd from inward Peace and Quiet. Did you but truely know what 'tis to be a Monarch, you'ld be so to your self as well as others. What do you fear, or what is it restrains you? A seeming Danger, more in shew than substance. Wise men that finde their aims confin'd to hazard, secure the worst before they give them action. You have a Kingdoms Power to back, a Will to guide it; Can private fear suggest to shake it? Alas, they cannot, if your self were constant: Who dares oppose, if you com­mand Obedience? I deny not, if you be faint or stagger, you may be crost and curb'd by that advantage, that gives their moving-heart shew of Justice. You understand your self, and feel your Passions; if they be such as will not brook denial, why do you dally, or delay to right them? The more you paise your doubts, the more they double, and make things [Page 11] worse than they or are, or can be: appearing like your self, these clouds will vanish, and then you'll see and know your proper errour. Will you vouchsafe my trust, I'll fetch him hither, whose absence gives you such a sad distraction: You may the while secure his entertainment with such a strength, may warrant your proceedings. 'Twere madness to ask leave to act Transgressions, where Pardon may be had when they are acted. If you do seek consent from your great Ba­rons, they'll dare deny; which is nor fault, nor Treason; and in that act you foil your hopes and action, which gives their opposition shew of Justice. But 'tis in vain to plead the grounds of Reason, since 'tis your Will must give the re­solution: If that be fixt, there needs no more disputing, but such as best may bring it to perfection.

When this smooth Physician had prescribed so fit a Balsamum for so foul a Wound, the King seems infinitely pleased in his relation; he had hit his desires in the Master-vein, and struck his former Jealousie between wind and water, so that it sunk in the instant: his love-sick Heart became more free and frolick; which sudden mutation begat as great a wonder. The Operations of the Fancy transport sometimes our Imagination to believe an actual possession of those things we most desire and hope for; which gives such a life to the dejected Spirits of the Body, that in the instant they seem cloathed in a new Habit. Such was the condition of this wanton King, that in this bare overture, conceits the fruition of his be­loved Damon, and apprehends this Golden Dream to be an essential part of his fantastique Happiness. He heaps a world of promises and thanks on the Relator, letting him know, he waits but a fitting opportunity to give this project life and action. It is a politique part of Court-wisdome, to insinuate and lay hold of all the befitting opportunities, that may claw the Prince's humour that is naturally vain-glorious or vicious; there is not a more ready and certain way of advancement, if it do shake hands [Page 12] with Modesty, and appear with an undaunted, impudent boldness. He that will be a Courtier, and contains him­self within the modest temperance of pure Honesty, and not intrude himself before he be called, may like a Sea­mark serve to teach other men to steer their Course, while he himself sticks fast, unmoved, unpitied. All the Abilities of Nature, Art, Education, are useless, if they be tyed to the links of Honesty, which hath little or no society in the Rules of State or Pleasure, which as they are unlimited, walk in the by-way from all that is good or vertuous.

If this Butterfly had truly laid before his unhappy Ma­ster, what it had been to break the Injunctions of a dy­ing Father, to falsifie such Vows and Oaths so solemnly sworn, and to irritate the greatest Peers of the Kingdom with so unworthy an action, (which had been the Duty of a Servant of his Masters Honour truely careful) he had felt the Reward of such plain dealing, either with Scorn, Contempt, or Passion; whose flattering false­hood wins him special Grace and Favour, and gains the title of an able Agent.

Some few days pass, which seem'd o're long, before the King exacts a second tryal. In the interim, to take away all jealousie, he enters into the business of the Kingdom, and with a seeming serious care surveys each passage, and not so much as sighs, or names his Gava­ston; doubting if in his way he were discovered, there might be some cross-work might blast his project: He knew how easie 'twas (if once suspected) to take away the Cause might breed a difference: What could so poor a stranger do that might protect him against or pu­blick Force, or private Mischief, either of which he knew would be attempted, before the Lords would suffer his reprisal? The King sends for Gaveston.When all was whisht and quiet, and all mens eyes were fixed upon the present, he calls his trusty Roger to his private presence, and after some Instructions throws him his Purse, and bids him haste; he knew his [Page 13] Errand. The wily Servant knows his Masters meaning, and leaves the Court, pretending just occasion, proud of imployment posting on his Journey. The King ha­ving thus far gone, must now go onward; he knew that long it could not be concealed; such actions cannot rest in sleepy silence; which made him think it fit to be the first Reporter. This makes him send and call his Council, who soon are ready, and attend his Summons; Acquaints his Coun­cil there­with; who labour to divert him.where he makes known the fury of his Passions, and tells the way that he had taken to ease them. So strange an act begets as great a wonder; they unà voce labour to divert him, and humbly plead his Fathers last Injunction, to which their Faiths were tyed by deep Engagement. They urge the Law that could not be dispens'd with, without a publick breach of his prescription. They speak the Vows and Oaths they all had taken, which in consenting would make them false and perjur'd. This working nothing, they entreat him he would a while adjourn his resolution; time might happily finde out a way might give him content, and yet might save their Honours. His jealous fear suspects this modest answer; a temporizing must increase his sorrow, while they so warned might work a sure prevention. Being thus at plunge, he strives to make it sure, and win his Will, or loose his Jurisdiction. Though he were naturally of a suspicious and timerous Nature, yet seeing now the inte­rest of his Power at stake on the success of this Overture, he lays aside his effeminate disposition, and with angry Brow, and stern Majesty, doth thus discourse his plea­sure.

His angry Reply.
Am I your King? If so, why then obey me; lest while you teach me Law, I learn you Duty. Know, I am firmly bent, and will not vary. If you and all the Kingdome frown, I care not: You must enjoy your own affections, I not so much as question or controul them; but I that am your Sovereign, must be tutor'd to love and like alone by your discretion. Do [Page 14] not mistake, I am not now in Wardship, nor will be chalkt out ways to guide my fancy. Tend you the Kingdoms and the publick Errours; I can prevent mine own without Pro­tection. I should be loth to let you feel my Power; but must and will, if you too much enforce me. If not Obedience, yet your Loves might tender a kinde consent, when 'tis your King that seeks it. But you perhaps conceit you share my Power; you neither do nor shall, while I command it; I will be still my self, or less than nothing.

These words, and the manner of their delivery, bred a strange distraction, in which he flings away with a kinde of loose scorn; for their refusal his valiant heart had yet his proper motions, which tost it to and fro with doubtful hazard. They sadly silent sit, and view each other, wishing some one would shew undaunted Valour, to tye the Bell about the Cats neck that frights them; but none appears. They yet were strangers to their own party, and the Kings conditions. Their late dead Master's ways were smooth and harmless, as free from private Wrongs as publick Grievance; which had extinguisht all pretence of Faction, and made them meet as Friends without assurance; this wrought them with more ease to treat the business; each one doth first survey his own condition, which single could do little, and yet exprest might cause his proper ruine: next they measure the Kings Will and Power, with his Command; against which in vain were contestation, where wants united strength to make it sure. Lastly, they examine what could at worst ensue in their consenting, since it was as possible to remove him being here, as stop his coming. The King advertised by a private Intelligencer (a fit in­strument in the body of a State, in the Society and Body of a Council) of their staggering irresolution, and find­ing his Pills had so kinde an Operation, lays hold of the advantage, and would not let the iron cool before he wrought it. This brings him back with a more familiar [Page 15] and mild look, and begets a discourse less passionate, but more prevailing. Temperately he lays before them the extremity of his inward trouble, which had so engrost his private thoughts, that he had been thereby enforced to estrange himself from them, and neglected the Rights due to his Crown and Dignity. He lets them know the depth of his engagement, which had no aim repugnant to the Publick Good, nor intention hurtful to their pro­per Honours; and to conclude, he intreats them, (if any of them had been truely touch'd with a disease of the same quality) that they would indifferently measure his Condition by their own Sufferings. The Coun­cil consent to recal Gaveston.So fair a Sun­shine following at the heels of so sharp a Tempest, wrought a sudden innovation; their yielding hearts seek to win Grace, rather than hazard his Displeasure: yet to colour so apparent a breach of Faith to their dead Master, they capitulate certain Conditions, which might seem to extenuate (if not take off) the stain of their dishonour; as if matter of circumstance had been a suf­ficient motive for the breach of an Oath so solemnly and authentically sworn. The King resolv'd to purchase his peace, (whose price was but verbal) is nothing spa­ring to promise all and more than was demanded; which they credit over-hastily, though they could not be so light of belief as to imagine, that he would keep his Word with the Subject, that wilfully incurs a Perjury a­gainst his own Father; yet in case of necessity it was by general consent agreed, rather to subscribe, than to en­danger the Peace of the Kingdom, by so unkinde and unnatural a division. The King giving to each of them particular thanks, (having thus plaid his Masters prize) departs wondrously content and jocund: they seem out­wardly not displeased, that had obtain'd as much as they could desire; and hoped the end would be fair, if not fortunate. The eye of the world may be blinded, and the severity of humane Constitutions removed; but so great a Perjury seldome escapes unpunished by the Di­vine [Page 16] Justice, who admits no dalliance with Oaths, even in the Case of Necessity, as it evidently appears in the sequel of this Story; where you may behold the miserable ruine that his principal and efficient cause had from this beginning. It had been far more honourable and advantageous to the State, if this young wanton King had point-blank found a flat denial, and been brought to have tugg'd at the arms end; the injustice of the quarrel, which might in time have recollected his senses, and brought him to the true knowledge what a madness it was, for the loose affection of so unworthy an Object, to hazard his own Dignity, and alien the Love of the whole Kingdom. But it is the general Disease of Greatness, and a kinde of Royal Fever, when they fall upon an indulgent Dotage, to patronize and advance the corrupt ends of their Minions, though the whole Society of State and Body of the Kingdom run in a direct opposition; neither is Reason, Law, Religion, or the imminency of succeeding danger, weight enough to divert the stream of such inordinate Affections, until a miserable Conclusion give it a fatal and just Repen­tance. It were much better, if with a provident fore­sight they would fear and prevent the blow before they feel it. But such melancholy Meditations are deemed a fit food for Penitentials, rather than a necessary reflection for the full stomack of Regal Authority. The black clouds of former Suspicion being thus vanish'd, nothing now wants to make perfect the Royal Desires, but the fruition of this long-expected purchase. The smooth Servant that had so pleasingly advised, was not less care­ful in the execution of his promise. He knew haste would advance the opinion of his Merit; this makes him soon out-run his Journey, and finde the Star of his directions, to whom he liberally relates the occasion of his coming, which he confirms by the delivery of his Masters Letter, wherein was drawn to the life the cha­racter of his Affection, and the assurance of his safety [Page 17] and intended promotion. Gaveston being ravish'd with so sweet and welcome a relation, entertains it with as much joy, as the condemned Prisoner receives his Pardon at the place and hour of Execution. His long-dejected Spirits apprehend the advantage of so hopeful an oppor­tunity, and spur him on with that haste, that he hardly consents to one nights intermission for the repose of this weary Messenger. No sooner had the Mornings-Watchman given his shrill summons of the approaching Day-light, but he forsakes his weary Bed, and hastens straight to Horseback; and being not well assured of his reception in the Kingdom, being a banish'd man by so Juridical a Sentence, he esteems it too weak an Adven­ture to expose himself to the hazard of the Road-way, where he might with ease be intercepted. This leads him to disguise himself, and seek a secret passage; which he as readily findes; all things concurring to improve his happiness, if he had had judgment and temper enough to have given it a right use. Every minute he esteems ill lost, till he might again be re-enfoulded in the sweet and dear embraces of his Royal Master.

Gaveston returns.Time, that out-runs proud Fate, brings him at last to the end of his desires, where the interview was accom­panied with as many mutual expressions, as might flow from the tongues, eyes, and hearts of long-divided Lo­vers. This pair thus again re-united, the Court puts on a general face of Gladness, while wiser heads with cause suspect the issue. They esteem it full of danger, to have one man alone so fully possess the Kings Affections, who if he be not truely good, and deep enough to advise soundly, must often be the cause of Error and Disorder. This strange piece had neither Nobility of Birth, Ability of Brain, or any Moral Goodness, whereby they might justly hope he would be a stay to the unbridled youth of their Sovereign. A precedent experience during the Government of their dead Master, had given them a per­fect knowledg, that he was more properly a fit instru­ment [Page 18] for a Brothel, than to be the Steersman of the Royal actions: yet there was now no prevention; they must hope the best, and attend the issue.

The King flights his Barons. Edward having thus regained his beloved Favourite, could not shadow or dissemble his Affection, but makes it eminent by the neglects of the State-affairs, and the forgetfulness of the civil and ordinary Respect due to his great Barons. They wait contemn'd, and cannot gain the threshold, while this new Upstart's courted in the Royal Chamber. This kinde of usage won a sudden murmur, which calls them off to close and private Mee­tings; there they discourse their Griefs, and means to right them; they sift each way might break this fond in­chantment, or lessen this great light obscured their lustre. When they had canvast all the Stratagems of State, and private workings, they deem'd it the most innocent and fair way, to win the King to marry; the in­terest of a Wife was thought the most hopeful induce­ment to reclaim these loose affections that were prosti­tuted without or sense or honour; she might become a fit counterpoise to qualifie the Pride of such a swelling greatness.

They per­swade him to marry.The major part soon jump in this opinion; the rest are quickly won, that fear'd the sequel. On this they all to­gether present themselves and their request, and shew the reasons, but touch not the true ground why they de­sired it. After some pawse the King approves their motion, yet bids them well consider it was the greatest Action of his life, which as it principally concern'd his particular Contentment, so did equally reflect on the ge­neral Interest of the whole Kingdom. If they could find him out such a Wedlock as might adde Strength and Ho­nour to the Crown, and be withal suitable to his liking, he would readily embrace it, and value it as a blessing. So fair a beginning encourageth them to move for Isabel the French Kings Daughter, one of the goodliest and fairest Ladies of that time. The King readily inclines to [Page 19] have it treated; on which an honourable Embassage is sent to make the motion. They are nobly receiv'd and willingly heard that bare this Message, and the Conditions easily reconciled to a full Agreement. This brings them home with a like noble Company, fully authorized to re­ceive the Kings consent and approbation.

The King marries;This Conclusion thus made, sends our new Lover in­to France, to fetch his Mistriss; where he is received like himself, feasted, and married with a great deal of Joy and Pleasure. The Solemnity ended, and a Farewel taken, he hastens homewards, returning seised of a Jewel, which not being rightly valued, wrought his ruine. Infinite was the joy of the Kingdom, evident in those many goodly expressions of her Welcome. The excellency of so rare a Beauty could not so surprize the heart of this Royal Bridegroom, but that he was still troubled with the pangs of his old Infirmity: It was in the first Praeludium of his Nuptials a very disputable Question, whether the Interest of the Wife, or Favourite, were most predominant in his Affections; but a short time discovers that Gaveston had the sole possession of his Heart, and Power to keep it. and mar­ries Gave­ston to Margaret, Daughter of Gilb. de Clare, Earl of Glouce­ster, by his Wife Joan of Acres, Daughter to Edw. I. Creates him Earl of Corn­wall.To level their conditions, and make the terms betwixt them more even, he tyes this fair bullock in a yoke of the same nature, marrying him to a lovely branch of the house of Gloucester, whose noble heart struggled infinitely, yet durst not contradict the Kings Injustice. He holds his blood disparag'd by so base commixtion. To take away that doubt, the new-married man is advanced to the Earldom of Cornwal, and hath in his Gift the goodly Castle and Lordship of Wal­lingford; so that now in Title he had no just exception; and for conditions, it must be thought enough his Master loved him. To shew himself thankful, and to seem worthy of such gracious favour, Gaveston applies himself wholly to the Kings humour, feeding it with the variety of his proper appetite, without so much as question or contradiction: Not a word fell from his Sovereign's [Page 20] tongue, but he applauds it as an Oracle, and makes it as a Law to guide his actions. This kinde of juggling be­haviour had so glewed him to his Master, that their Affections, nay their very Intentions seem'd to go hand in hand; insomuch that the Injustice of the one, never found rub in the consent of the other. If the King maintain'd the party, the servant was ever fortunate, his voice was ever concurrent, and sung the same Tune to a Crochet. The discourse being in the commendation of Arms, the eccho stiles it an Heroick Vertue; if Peace, it was an Heavenly Blessing; unlawful Pleasures, a noble Recreation; and Actions most unjust, a Royal Goodness. These parasitical Gloses so betray'd the itching ear that heard them, that no Honour or Preferment is conceited great and good enough for the Relator. And makes him chief Minister of State.A short time in­vests in his person or disposure all the principal Offices and Dignities of the Kingdom; the Command of War, and all Military Provisions, were committed solely to his care and custody; all Treaties forraign and domestick, had, by his direction, success or ruine; nothing is conclu­ded touching the Government or Royal Prerogative, but by his consent and approbation. In the view of these strange passages, the King appear'd so little himself, that the Subjects thought him a Royal Shadow without a Real Substance. This Pageant, too weak a Jade for so weighty a burden, had not a brain in it self able enough to manage such great Actions; neither would he enter­tain those of ability to guide him, whose honest freedom might have made him go through-stitch with more repu­tation. He esteems it a gross oversight, and too deep a disparagement, to have any creature of his own thought wiser than himself; he had rather his Greatness (than hazard such a blemish) should lie open to the malice of time and fortune. This made him chuse his Servants as his Master chose him, of a smooth fawning temper, such as might cry ayme, and approve his actions, but not dispute them. Hence flew a world of wilde disorder; the sa­cred [Page 21] Rules of Justice were subverted, the Laws integrity abused, the Judge corrupted or inforc'd, and all the Types of Honour due to Vertue, Valour, Goodness, were like the Pedlers pack, made Ware for Chapmen. Nei­ther was it conceiv'd enough thus to advance him beyond proportion, or his birth and merit, but he must carry all without disputing. No one may stand in his way, but tastes his power. Old Quarrels are ript up, to make his spleen more extant.

Gaveston imprisons the Bishop of Chester.The grave Bishop of Chester, a man reverend for years, and eminent for his Profession and Dignity, is committed, and could be neither indifferently heard or released, up­on the meer supposition that he had been the cause of his first Banishment. The King­dom re­sent it.These insolencies, carried with so great a height, and exprest with so malicious a liberty, were accompanied with all the remonstrances of a justly-grieved Kingdom. The ancient Nobility, that disdain'd such an equal, accuse the injustice of the time that makes him their Superiour. The grave Senators are griev'd to see the places, due to their worths, possess'd by those unworthy and unable. The angry Souldier, that with his blood had purchas'd his experience, beholds with sorrow, Buffoons preferr'd; while he, like the ruines of some goodly Buil­ding, is left to the wide world, without use or repara­tion. The Commons, in a more intemperate fashion, make known their griefs, and exclaim against so many great and foul Oppressions. The new-made Earl both saw and knew the general discontent and hatred, yet seeks not how to cure or stop this mischief; his proud heart would not stoop or sink: his greatness, which might perhaps have qualified the fury, with an ill-advised con­fidence out-dares the worst of his approaching danger, and is not squeamish to let the Kingdom know it. The slumbring Barons, startled with the murmur that ecchoed nought but fear and quick confusion, at length awake, and change their drowsie temper, condemning their long patience, that was so far unfit their Bloud and Greatness. [Page 22] Lincoln, Warwick, and Pembrooke, whose noble hearts disdain'd to suffer basely, resolve to cure the State, or make the Quarrel fatal. This Mushrome must be cropt, or Arms must right the Kingdom. Yet before they will attempt by force, they'll feel their Sove­raign's pulses; who, drown'd in sensual pleasure, dreams not of their practice. This Resolution leads them to the Court, where with some sute they gain ad­mittance; where to the King brave Lincoln thus dis­cours'd their Grievance.

Lincoln's Speech to the King.
See here (my Liege) your faithful though dejected ser­vants, that have too long cry'd ayme to our Afflictions; we know you in your self are good, though now seduced; the height is such, we fear a coming Ruine. Let it not taint your ear to hear our sorrow, which is not ours alone, but all the Kingdoms, that groan and languish under this sad bur­den. One man alone occasions all this mischief; 'tis one mans pride and vice that crusheth thousands: we hope you will not boulster such a foul disorder, and for one poor worth­less piece, betray a Kingdom. The Heavens forbid so great and fond injustice. You are your own, yet we believe you ours; if so, we may what you forget, remember. Kings that are born so, should preserve their Greatness; which Goodness makes, not all their other Titles. Your noble Fa­ther dying, bound our Honours; yet we subscribed a breach at your intreaty: You promis'd then a fair and grave pro­ceeding; but what succeeds? the worst of base Oppression. So long as we had hope, our tongues were silent; we sate and sighed out our peculiar Sufferings: But when we see so fond and lewd progression, that seems to threaten You and all your Subjects, you cannot blame us if we seek to right it. Would your unpartial eye survey the present State of this late glorious Kingdom, you there shall see the Face of Shame and Sorrow. No place is free; both Court and Country languish; all men complain, but none finde help or comfort. Will you for him, not worth your meanest favour, consent [Page 23] the Ruine of so brave a Nation? Alas, Sir, if you would, we may not bear it; our Arms that guard your Life, shall keep your Honour. 'Tis not unjust, if you your self enforce it; the time admits no respite: For God's sake, Sir, re­solve us; since you must part with him, or us, then chuse you whether.

The King amazed with this strange Petition, believes it backt with some more secret practice: He knew their Griefs were just, yet loath to right them; He hop'd this Tempest would o'reblow, he might advise his An­swer: But when he saw them fixt to know his pleasure, he then believes it was in vain to struggle. He knew their strength that had combin'd to seek it, and saw he was too weak for contradiction. This made him yield he should be once more banisht. Though his wretch­less improvidence had laid him open to this advantage, yet he was still Master of his antient King-craft, which made him smoothly seem to pass it over, as if he well approv'd this Sequestration, which he resolves to alter as he pleased, when he had made the party sure might back his actions; till then, he slubbers o're his private Passion. The Lords, whose innocent aims had no end but Reformation, depart content, yet wait upon the issue. Gaveston ba­nished the second time, and sent in­to Ireland.A second time this Monster is sent packing, and leaves the Kingdom free from his Infection. Ireland is made the Cage must mewe this Haggard, whither he goes as if to Execution. With a sad heart he leaves his great Protector, vowing revenge if he may live to act it. This weak Statesman here gives a sure testimony of the pover­ty of his Brain, that in the time of his Prosperity and Height had not made sure one forreign Friend, to whom he might have had a welcome access in time of his expul­sion. But he had handled matters so, that he was alike hateful here and abroad, insomuch that he believes this barbarous Climate his surest refuge. But he being gone, all things seem'd well reconciled; the State was [Page 24] quiet, and mens hopes were suitable to their desires, which seem'd to promise a quick and speedy Refor­mation. But the vanity of this belief vanisht away like a shadow, and the intermission was little less intemperate than the former agitation. This wilie Serpent continues so his forreign Correspondence, that the King was little better'd by his absence; which made it evident, that Death alone would end his practis'd mischief. Their Bodies were divided, but their Affections meet with a higher Inflammation. The intervacuum of their absence hath many recipro­cal passages, which interchangeably flie betwixt them. The King receives not a Syllable, but straight returns with golden interest. Infinitely are they both troubled with their division, but far more with the affront of the presuming Barons, that had extorted it by force, yet with intreaty. The King esteem'd this kinde of pro­ceeding too great an indignity to be pocketted; yet since it had the pretence of his Safety and the general Good, there was not apparent Justice enough to call it to an after-reckoning. But alas, that needed not; for his effeminate weakness had left him naked of that Royal resolution, that dares question the least disor­derly moving of the greatest Subject. He was constant in nothing but his Passions, which led him to study more the return of his left-handed Servant, than how to make it good, effected. He lays aside the Majesty of a King, and thinks his Power too slender; his Sword sleeps like a quiet harmless Beast, while his Tongue proves his better Champion. He sends for those that had been the principal Agents in the last Sentence, and treats with them severally; knowing that Hairs are pluckt up one by one, that are not mov'd by handfuls; en­countring them thus single, hand to hand, what with his hypocritical Entreaties and mildew'd Promises, he soon gets from their relenting hearts a several Consent answer­able to his desires. When by untying the Bundle he [Page 25] had disunited the strength of their Confederacy, he then with confidence makes it a general Proposition; Again re­called.which takes so, that the repeal of Gaveston's banishment pass'd currant without exception.

The Kings intent and the approbation of the Lords is scarcely known, before (like an Irish Hubbub, that needs nothing but noise to carry it) it arriv'd in Ire­land. Upon the wings of Passion, made proud by the hope of Revenge and a second Greatness, he flies swiftly back to the Fountain of his first Preferment. Once more the breach is foder'd, and this True-loves Knot enjoys his first Possession. But there wanted yet that deep reach and provident foresight that should have given it assurance. The King had neither enabled him­self to carry things in their former height by main strength, neither had he wrought his disorder'd Affections to a conformity, or a more stayed temper. His female Mercury lessens not his former Ambition, but returns the self-same man; onely improved with the desire of re­venge, which was naked of the means to act it: so that it was quickly perceiv'd that the Kingdom must feel a­nother fit of her Convulsion. The mutual Corruptions of these two, went with an equal improvidence; which gave the Lords their advantage, and them too late a cause of repentance.

Immediately on his reception, the King falls into a more dangerous Relapse of his former Dotage; which so fully ingross'd him, that all Discourse and Company seem'd harsh and unpleasant, but such as came from the mellow tongue of his Minion, who invents many new En­chantments to feed and more engage his frenzie. All the dissolute Actions of licentious Youth are acted Cum Privilegio. This bred such a Grief and Distemper in the sorrowing heart of the Subject, that a general Cloud of Sadness seem'd to shadow the whole Kingdom. Those former strict Admonitions were not powerful enough to bridle this Distemper, not so much as for a fair in-come; [Page 26] the one becomes at the first dash more fond, the other more insolent: those whom before he onely scorn'd, he now affronts with publick hatred, letting them know his spleen waits but advantage. He fills his Soveraigns ears with new suspition, and whets him on to act in bloud and mischief.

It is a Dispute variously believ'd, what Climate hatch'd this Vulture. I cannot credit him to be an Italian, when I observe the map of his Actions so far different from the disposition and practice of that politick Nation: They use not to vent publickly their spleens, till they do act them. He that will work in State, and thrive, must be reserved; a downright way that hath not strength to warrant it, is crusht and breaks with his own weight, without discretion. Those that are in this trade held their Crafts-masters, do speak those fairest whom they mean to ruine, and rather trust close work than pub­lick practice. Wise men made great, disguise their aims with Vizards, which see and are not seen, while they are plotting. Judge not by their smooth looks or words, which hath no kindred with the hearts of Machiavilian States-men. Who trusts more to his will than wit, may act his Passion; but this mans malice is within protecti­on. Where mischief harbours close and undiscovered, it ruines all her Rubs without suspition; a Pill or Po­tion makes him sure, that by plain force might have out­liv'd an Army: such ends thus wrought, if once suspe­cted, a neat State-lye can parget o'r with Justice. But those antient times were more innocent, or this great Favorite more ignorant. He went on the plain way of corrupted flesh and bloud, seeking to enchant his Ma­ster, in which he was a perfect Work-man; and the con­tempt of his Competitors, in which he was as wilful as fearless: but in the managing of his proper greatness, there he appears like himself, a meer Imposture, going on with a full carreer, not so much as viewing the ground he went on.

[Page 27] Abuses the King and Kingdom.The Royal Treasure he exhausts in Pride and Riot; the Jewels of the Crown are in the Lumbard; that same goodly Golden Table and Tressles of so great and rich a value, he surreptitiously embezzles; and nothing almost left, that might either make Money, or improve his Glory. No man may now have the Kings ear, hand, or Purse, but he's the Mediator; his Creatures are ad­vanc'd, his Agents flourish, and poorest Grooms become great Men of Worship. The King hath nothing but the name, while his Vicegerent hath the benefit and execution. All that appertains unto the Crown and Royal Dignity are wholly in his Power, so that he might justly be thought the Lessee, if not the Inheritor of the Prerogative and Revenue. The sense of Grief and Duty that had long contested in the Lion-hearts of the Nobility, are now reconciled. These strange presum­ptions had banish'd all possibility of a longer sufferance; They vow to make this Monster shrink, and let his Ma­ster know it. On this, well and strongly attended, they wait upon the King, and not with mild or fair In­treaties, they boldly now make known their Wrongs, and call for present Justice. Edward with a steady eye beholds their looks, where he sees registred the Cha­racters of a just Indignation, and the threatning furrows of ensuing danger. He stands not to dispute the quar­rel, lest they should tear the object of their anger from his elbow: without all shew of inward motion, he tells themselves had power to act what was most fitting, to whom he had assign'd the care should keep his Person, and assure the Kingdom. Gaveston ba­nished the third time; goes into Flanders.They beyond their expecta­tion finding the wind in that door, give not his in­constant thoughts time to vary, but command their Antagonist off to a third Banishment. He deprived of heart and strength, is enforced to obey, having not so much liberty, as to take a solemn Farewel. Now is he sent for Flanders; the Jurisdiction of the Kings Do­minions are esteem'd no fit Sanctuary to protect so loose [Page 28] a Liver. They leave him to prey and practice on the Dutch, whose Caps steel'd with Liquour, had reeling Craft enough to make him quiet.

This passage bred a supposition that he was now for ever lost: the King made shew as he were well con­tented; and men were glad to see this storm appeased, that seem'd to threaten an intestine ruine. This Hap­piness was but imaginary, but it is made perfect by one more real; Edward of Windsor, af­terwards Edw. the 3. Born, 13 Oct. 1312. Windsor presents the King an Heir apparent; which happy News flies swiftly through the Kingdom, which gives it welcome with a brave expression. The Royal Father did not taste this Blessing with such a sense of Joy as it deserved: Whether 'twas his mis­giving Spirit, or the absence of his lost Jewel, he sadly silent sighs out the relation; such a deserving Joy could not win so much as a smile from his melancholy Brow, grown old with trouble. The appearance of his inward agitation was such, that the greatest enemies of his Dotage were the most compassionate of his Suf­ferings. Such a masculine Affection and rapture was in those times without president, where Love went in the natural strain, fully as firm, yet far less violent. If the circumstances of this passionate Humour, so predominant in this unfortunate King, be maturely considered, we shall finde them as far short of possibility as reason; which have made many believe, that they had a super­natural operation and working, enforc'd by Art or Witchcraft. But let their beginning be what it will, never was man more immoderately transported, which took from him in this little time of his third absence, the benefit of his Understanding and Spirits so fully, that he seems rather distracted than inamour'd, more properly without Reason, than ability to command it. In the circumference of his Brain he cannot finde a way to lead him out of this Labyrinth, but that which de­pended more of Power than Wisdome. Bridle his Affections he could not, which were but bare embryons [Page 29] without possession; alter them he cannot, where his eye meets not with a subject powerful enough to engage him: what then rests to settle this civil discord, but restitution? which he attempts in spight of opposition. Gaveston a­gain re­turns. Gaveston comes back; the King avows, and bids them stir that durst, He would protect him. Princes that falsifie their Faiths, more by proper inclination than a necessary impulsion, grow not more hateful to forreign Nations, than fearful and suspected to their own Sub­jects. If they be tainted with a known Guilt, and ju­stifie it, 'tis a shrewd presumption of a sick State, where the Head is so diseased. A habit of doing ill, and a daring Impudence to maintain it, makes all things in a Politique Wisdome lawful. This Position in the end cosens the professor, and leaves him in the field open to shame and infamy: And it stands with reason; for if Vertue be the Road-way to Perfection, the corruption of a false Heart must certainly be the path to an unpi­tied ruine.

The Barons take up Arms.The enraged Barons seeing great Cornwal return, are sensible of their dishonour, and think it too great a wrong to be dispens'd with; yet they will have the fruit of their revenge through-ripe, before they taste it. He appears no Changeling, but still pursues the strains of his presumption. The actions of Injustice seldom lessen. Progression is believ'd a moral Vertue. He that hath a Will to do ill, and doth it, cannot look back but on the Crown of mischief. This makes him not disguise his conceptions, but shew them fully; having withal this excellent Vertue, that would be never reconciled where he once hated. The Lords observing his beha­viour, think time ill lost in so weighty a business; they draw their forces together, before the King could have a time to prevent, or his abuser to shun it.

The gathering together of so many threatning Clouds presag'd the Storm was a coming: Gaveston labours to provide a shelter, but 'twas too late; the time was lost [Page 30] that should assure the danger: All that he could effect by his own strength, or the Royal Authority, he calls to his assistance, (but such was the general distaste of the Kingdom, he could not gain a strength might seem a party.) The Court he knew would be a weak Pro­tection against their Arms, whose Tongues had twice expell'd him. Seize Gave­ston at Scar­borough-Castle;This made him leave it, and with such Provision as so short a time could tender, commit him­self to Scarborough-Castle. This Piece was strong, and pretty well provided, but prov'd too weak against so just a Quarrel. His noble Enemies being inform'd where they should finde him, follow the track, and soon begirt this Fortress. He seeks a Treaty; they despise Condi­tions, knowing he none would keep, that all had broken. All hope thus lost, he falls into their power from whom he had no cause could hope for mercy. The Butter­flies, companions of his Sun-shine, that were his fortunes friends, not his, forsake his Winter, and basely leave him in his greatest troubles. The tide of Greatness gain'd him many Servants; they were but hangers on, and meer Retainers, like Rats that left the house when it was fal­ling. The Spring adorn'd him with a world of Blossoms, which dropt away when first they felt this Tempest. Forsaken thus, this Cedar is surpriz'd, and brought to know the end of such ambition. The Prey thus tane, short work concludes his story, left that a Countermand might come to stop their Verdict: and behead him. Gaverseed is made the fatal place that sacrific'd his life to quench their fury.

Thus fell the first glorious Minion of Edward the Se­cond; which appearing for a time like a Blazing-star, fill'd the world with admiration, and gave the English cause to blame his fortune, that liv'd and died, nor lov'd, ex­cus'd, or pitied. In the wanton Smiles of his lovely Mistriss, he remembers not that she was blinde, a [...]iglet, and a Changeling; nor did he make himself in time a Refuge might be his Safeguard. If she had prov'd un­constant, [Page 31] constant, such a Providence had made the End as fair as the Beginning. But these same towering Summer-birds fear not the Winter, till they feel it; and then benumb'd, they do confess their Errour. Height of Promotion breeds Self-love; Self-love, Opinion; which underva­lues all that are beneath it. Hence it proceeds, that few men, truely honest, can hold firm Correspondence with so great a Minion; his ends go not their ways, but with Cross-capers, which cares not how, so these attain perfection. Servants that are confin'd to truth and goodness, may be in shew, but not in trust, their Agents. He that will act what Pride and Lust imposeth, is a fit Page to serve so loose a Master. Hence it proceeds, that still they fall unpitied; and those they chuse for Friends, do most supplant them. To secure an ill-ac­quired Greatness that is begot with envy, grows in ha­tred; as it requires judgment, claims a goodness to keep it right, and grave direction. Those that are truely wise, discreet, and vertuous, will make him so that pur­sues their counsel; upon which Rock he rests secure untainted. But this is Country-Doctrine Courts resent not, where 'tis no way to thrive, for them are honest. A Champion-Conscience without bound or limit, a Tongue as smooth as Jet that sings in season, a bloudless Face that buries guilt in boldness; these Ornaments are fit to cloath a Courtier: he that wants these, still wants a means to live, if he must make his Service his Revenue. He that a Child in Court grows old, a Servant expecting years or merit should prefer him, and doth not by some by-way make his fortune, gains but a Beard for all his pains and travel; unless he'll take a Purse, and for reward, a Pardon. Though many rise, it is not yet con­cluded they all are of so base corruption which would produce a sudden Ruine. The greater Peers by birth inherit fit place in this Election. The Kings favour, or their intercession, may advance a deserving Friend or Kinsman; extraordinary Gifts of Nature, or some Ex­cellency [Page 32] in knowledg may prefer him that enjoys them; all these beams may shine on men that are honest. But if you cast your eye upon the gross body of the Court, and examine the ordinary course of their gradation, it will plainly appear, that twenty creep in by the back-gate, while one walks up by the street-door. But lea­ving those to their fortune, and that cunning conveyance must guide their Destiny; when the sad tidings of this unhappy Tragedy came to the Kings ears, his vexa­tions were as infinite as hopeless, and his Passion tran­sports him beyond the height of sorrow, which leads him to this bitter Exclamation.

The King's Exclama­tion on the news; vow­ing revenge.
Could they not spare his Life, O cruel Tygers? What had he done, or how so much offended? He never shed one drop of harmless blood, but saved thousands. Must he be sacrificed to calm their anger? 'Twas not his fault, but my affection caused it; which I'll revenge, and not dispute my sorrow. They, if I live, shall taste my just displea­sure, and dearly pay for this their cruel errour. Till now I kept my hand from blood and fatal actions; but hence­forth I will act my Passions freely, and make them know I am too much provoked. Blood must have blood, and I will spend it fully, till they have paid his wandring Ghost their forfeit. And thou, O sweet Friend, whom living I so loved, from thy sad Vrn shalt see thy wrong requited. Thy Life as I mine own did dearly value, which I will loose, but I'll repay their rigour.

This said, he withdraws him to his melancholy Chamber, and makes himself a Recluse from the Day­light. His manly tears bewray his inward sorrow, and make him seem to melt with height of Passion; He could not sleep, nor scarce would eat, or speak but faintly; which makes him living dye with restless tor­ment. His lovely Queen (not sorry that this bar was taken away, which stopt the passage betwixt her Hus­bands [Page 33] Love and her Affections) is truely pensive at this strange distraction, which seem'd without the hope of reconcilement. His nearer Friends amazed to see his Passion, resolve to set him free, or loose his favour; bold­ly they press into his Cell of darkness, and freely let him know his proper errour. They lay before him, how vain a thing it was to mourn or sorrow for things past help, or hope of all redemption: His greatness would be lost in such fond actions, and might endanger him and eke the Kingdom: If he but truely knew what desperate murmurs were dayly whisper'd by his vain di­stemper, he would himself appear to stay the danger, and to excuse the Barons act, so hateful: they touch upon the Earls intemperate carriage, which threatned them and all the Kingdoms ruine: they shew his insolence and misbehaviour, which having Honour so far above his birth, and Wealth above his merit, was ne're contented. Lastly, they tell him plainly, unless he would resume more life and spirit, they fear'd the Subject would make choice of one more able.

The unworthy touches of his Minion, though but sparingly given, nipt him to the Soul; but when he heard the Tenour of their last Conclusion, it rows'd him up, for fear of Deposition. This brings him forth in shew and look transformed, but yet resolv'd not to for­get this Trespass. The Operations in his heart were not so great and weighty, but that his Lords were full as close and wary. So fair a warning-piece gave them their Summons, in time to make a strength might keep them sure. They cannot now recoyl, or hope for fa­vour; their Arms must make their Peace, or they must perish. These circumstances made them preserve so well a respected distance, that well the King might bark, but durst not bite them: He was resolv'd, 'tis true, but not provided, and therefore holds it wisdome to be silent; the time he hop'd would change, and they grow careless; when they should know such wrongs are not [Page 34] forgotten. Henry Laey, Earl of Lin­coln, dies, 1310.But now brave Lincoln, one of the prin­cipal Pillars of the Barons Faction, follows his adver­sary to the grave, but with a milde and fairer fortune. This reverend piece of true Nobility was in Speech and Conversation sweet and affable, in resolution grave and weighty; his aged temper active and valiant above be­lief, and his Wisdome more sound and excellent in inward depth than outward appearance. When those pale Harbingers had seized his vital Spirits, and he per­ceived the thought of Life was hopeless, he gives Tho­mas of Lancaster, his Son-in-Law, this dying Legacy.

His dying-Speech to Tho. Earl of Lancaster, his Son-in-Law.
My Son, (quoth he) for so your Wedlock makes you, hear and observe these my last dying Precepts. Trust not the King; his Anger sleeps, but dyes not; he waits but time, which you must likewise tender, else in the least neglect be sure you perish. Make good my place among the Lords, and keep the Kingdom from foul Oppression, which of late is frequent. Your Soveraign cares not how the State be gui­ded, so he may still enjoy his wanton Pleasures; have you an eye to those that seek to wrong him: be not deceived with his sugar'd language; his heart is false, and harbours Blood and Mischief. Keep your selves firm and close; be­ing well united you are secure, he will not dare to touch you. If he again fall on a second Dotage, look to it in time, 'twill else be your confusion. His Minions Death lies in his heart concealed, waiting but time to act revenge and terrour: he shadows o're, but cannot hide his Malice, which fain would vent it self, but yet it dares not. If I had lived, he must have changed his copy, or one of us had felt a bitter tryal; yet still beware you take not light occasion, or make the publick ends for private Passion. He is your Sovereign, you must so obey him, unless the Cause be just enforc'd your moving. If he himself do swerve or raise combustion, the Kingdoms good must give your Arms their warrant: short time will let you know your own con­dition; however, do not trust the sleepy Lion. I knew his [Page 35] ways, and could as well forestal them; but now I must re­signe it to your wisdom. Of this be sure (remember my Prediction) if he relapse, and make a new Vice-gerent, which shall leap o're your heads, and you endure it, The King, You, or the Kingdom must perish. My wearied Soul would fain embrace his freedom, and now my Spirits yield to Death and Nature. Commend me to my noble Friends and Fellows, and say, Old Lincoln liv'd and died their Servant.

Lancaster, whose noble heart was before-hand season'd, receives willingly these grave Instructions, and like a good Steward, locks them up in the closet of his heart, till time call'd upon him to give them life and action; and yet he suffers not this goodly Tree to fall, before assured: He vows observance, and as truely keeps it; but erring in the time, it wrought his Downfal. Beginning Evils are easily supprest, which grown to strength, if cleans'd, are cur'd with danger: Twigs may be broken, younger Plants removed; but if once they grow Trees, their Fall is fatal. Things standing thus, and all mens minds in suspence what would be the issue between the enraged King and jealous Lords, the indifferent friends of either Party that fear'd this unkinde Division would shake the Peace and Tranquillity of the Kingdom, pro­pounded divers Overtures of reconcilement; which are neither readily accepted, nor absolutely refused. The Kings Meditations were more fixed on Revenge than Conference; yet seeing into the Quality of the time, and into the suspected Affections of the Kingdom, is won at length to admit of a Treaty.

The Barons truely rellishing the Tickle-terms they stood on, which were pinn'd to the mutability of popu­lar Faction, were not estranged from the thoughts of Peace, though they would not seek it. Intercession and importunacy of the Mediators, brings it at length to the upshot; where there was such an inveterate spleen, [Page 36] and so great an antipathy in Wills, it is not thought fit to hazard this great Work on a private discussion, where Recapitulations of old Wrongs, or the apprehension of new Indignities, might shake the Foundation. The High Court of Parliament, the gravest Senate of the Kingdom, that had an over-ruling Power to limit the King, and command the Subject, is deemed the most Honourable place of this Enterview, where a business of so great weight would be gravely discours'd; which might assure the end, and make it more authentical. A Parlia­ment called.Where­upon it is immediately call'd, and in short space assem­bled at London; where, after many interchangeable Ex­postulations diversly handled by the pregnant Wits and nimble Tongues of either Party, a settled Agreement is concluded, and many excellent Laws are enacted, which both the King and Peers are sworn to maintain and keep inviolate. By these discreet means the violence of this great Fire is rak'd up in the Embers, which in after­times breaks out with greater rage and fury: whatsoever the hidden Resolutions were, the Kingdom now seem'd in a fair way to settle Peace and Quiet. But a new and unexpected Accident varies this Conceit before it was cold, and calls them from private Actions, to maintain the Honour and Revenue of the Kingdom.

Edward the First, that brave and valiant Monarch, had thrice with his victorious Arms run through the Bowels of Scotland, and brought that stubborn Nation (that deny'd him Fealty and Homage) into an abso­lute Subjection. The Scots adhere to Bruce, 1313.Their last precedent King, Robert le Bruce, had tryed the height of his fortune, and with a fruitless opposition won no more than the loss of his Kingdom, and his own Expulsion. The Conqueror fin­ding himself quitted of this Obstacle, takes upon him the Regiment of this Kingdom, with a double string to his Bow; the one of antient Title, the other of Con­quest. The Nobility of Scotland, and all the inferiour Ministers of State, seeing the great Effusion of Bloud [Page 37] spent in this Quarrel, which continued, seemed to threa­ten a general devastation of their Country, submit themselves to the English Government, and are all so­lemnly sworn to obey it. Edward thus in possession, confirms it, by seizing the property of all the Royal Jurisdiction into his own hand, removing such Officers as were not agreeable to his will and liking, and giving many goodly Estates and Dignities to divers of his faithful Servants that had valiantly behaved themselves in this Service. The Form of Government by him esta­blished, was peaceably obey'd, and continued during his Life; neither was it questioned in the beginning Go­vernment of his unhappy Successor. But the wary Scots, more naturally addicted to a Phoenix of their own Na­tion, seeing into the present dissentions and disorders of the Kingdom, thought it now a fit time to revolt to their old Master, who like a crafty Fox harbours him­self under the French Kings protection (the antient re­ceptacle and Patron for that Nation.) No sooner is he advertised that the gate was open and unguarded, and that his well-affected Subjects wished his return, but back he comes, and is received with a full applause and wel­come. All Oaths, Obligements, and Courtesies of the English, are quite cancell'd and forgotten; and this long-lost Lion is again re-invested in the Royal Dignity. As-soon as he had moor'd himself in a domestique assu­rance, he then like a provident Watchman begins to raise a strength that might oppose all forreign Invasion, which he foresaw would thunder from the Borders. This Martial Preparation flyes swiftly to the King and Council of England, where it appears like a great Bo­dy upon a pair of Stilts, more in bulk than the propor­tion of the strength that bare it. The Pillars of the State, which wisely foresaw how great an inconvenience it would be to suffer such a Member to be dissever'd, that in the contestation with France would make the War a Mattachine, or Song of three parts, perswade [Page 38] their Sovereign it was not proper for his Greatness to suffer such an unworthy subversion of his Fathers Con­stitutions, and to loose the advantage of so fair a part of his Revenue.

Edward, that had outslept his native glory, had yet a just compunction of this dishonour, which seem'd to rob him of a portion of his Inheritance, purchased at too dear a value. He lays by his private rancour, and settles himself to suppress this sudden and unlookt-for Commotion, waking from that sensual Dream, which had given him so large a cause of Sorrow. Scarcely would he give his intentions such an intermission, as might attend the levy of his Army, which he had sum­moned to be ready with all speed and expedition. The jealous Lords startled with this Alarum, conceiting it but some trick of State to catch them napping, they suspect these Forces, under pretence of publick action, might be prepared to plot a private mischief. The King they knew was crafty, close, and cunning; and thought not fit to trust too far to Rumour. This makes them stand upon their guard, and keep Assem­blies, pleading for warrant the self-same ground of rising. But when their Spies in Court had given them knowledge that all was sure, they need not fear their danger, and that they dayly heard the Northern clamour that ecchoed loudly with the Scotish motions, they draw their Forces to the King's; The King goes in per­son against the Scots, 1314.who thus united, in person leads them to this hopeful Conquest. But forehand-reckonings ever most miscarry; he had those hands, but not those hearts which fought his Fathers fortune.

Scarce had he past and left the English Borders, but he beholds an Army ready to affront him, not of de­jected Souls, or Bodies fainting, but Men resolv'd to win, or dye with Honour. Their valiant Leader hear­tens on their Courage, and bids them fight for Life, Estate, and Freedome, all which were here at stake; which this day gains, or makes hereafter hopeless. [Page 39] Edward, that expected rather submission, or some honest Terms of agreement, finding a Check given by a Pawn, unlook'd for, plays the best of his game, and hopes to win it. He contemns their condition and number, sligh­ting their Power; and in the memory of his Father's Con­quests, thinks his own certain. But the success of Bat­tles runs not in a Bloud, neither is gained by Confidence, but Discretion and Valour. No one thing hurts more in a matter of Arms, than Presumption: a Coward that expects no mercy, is desperate by compulsion; and the most contemptible Enemy proves most dangerous, when he is too much undervalu'd. The King defeated at Banocksbourn near Strive­ling.You may see it here in­stanc'd, where a rabble multitude of despised Blue-caps, encounter, rout, and break the Flower of England: Eastriveline doth yet witness the fatal memory of this so great Disaster. There fell brave Clare the Earl of Gloucester, the valiant Clifford, and stout Mawle, with above Fifty Knights and Barons. This bloudy day, which had spilt so great a shower of Noble bloud, and cropt the bravest Blossoms of the Kingdom, sends the King back to Barwick with a few straggling Horse, whose well-breath'd speed out-run the pursuing danger. So near a Neighbourhood to so victorious an Enemy, is deemed indiscretion, where the Prize was believ'd so richly worth the Venture. This sends away the melan­choly King jaded in his hopes, and dull with his misfor­tune. If we may judge by the Event, the Condition of this man was truely miserable; all things at home, under his Government, were out of rule and order; and nothing successful that he undertook by forraign Em­ployment: but where the Ground is false, the Building cannot stand; He planted the foundation of his Monarchy on Sycophants and Favorites, whose dis­orderly Proceedings dryed up all that sap that should have fostered up the springing Goodness of the King­dome, and made him a meer stranger to those Abili­ties that are proper to Rule and Government. Kings [Page 40] ought to be their own Surveyors, and not to pass over the whole care of their Affairs, by Letter of Atturney, to another mans Protection: such inconsiderate actions beget a world of mischief, when there are more Kings than one, in one and the self-same Kingdom; it ecli­pseth his Glory, and derogates from his Greatness; making the Subject groan under the unjust Tyranny of an insolent oppression. No man with such propriety can manage the griefs and differences of the Subject, as the King, who by the Laws of God, Men, and Nature, hath an interest in their Heart, and a share in their Affecti­ons. When they are guided by a second hand, or heard by a Relator, Money or Favour corrupts the Integrity, and over-rules the course of Justice, followed at the heels with Complaint and Murmur, the Mother of Dis­content and Mischief.

The unexpected return of the General of this ill-succeeding Enterprize, filled the Kingdom with a well-deserved Sorrow, and is welcom'd with a News as strange, though not so full of danger. Poydras of Exeter pre­tends him­self King, and the King a Changling. Poydras, a fa­mous Impostor, a Tanners Son, and born at Exeter, pre­tends himself, with a new strain of Lip-cousenage, to be the Heir of Edward the First, by a false Nurse chang'd in his Cradle for the King now reigning. All Novelties take in the itching ears of the Vulgar, and win either belief or admiration. This Tale, as weak in truth as probability, was fortunate in neither, only it exalts this imaginary King to his Instalment on Northampton-Gal­lows, where he ends the hour of his melancholy Go­vernment with as strange a Relation, His strange Confession.which suggests, That for two years space, a Spirit, in the likeness of a Cat, had attended him as the chief Groom of his Chamber, from whom in many secret Conferences he had received the truth and information of this Mystery, with assurance it would bring him to the Crown of England. It was as great a fault in the Master to be­lieve, as for the Servant to abuse; yet the desire of the [Page 41] one to change his Tanfat for a Kingdom, was not much out of square; nor the Lying of the other, since he continued but his trade which he had practis'd from the beginning. It is a foul offence and oversight in them that have not Devils of their own, to hunt a­broad and seek where they may gain them by purchase. If it be a mystery of State to know things by Prediction of such vertuous Ministers, methinks they were much better kept, as this Tanner kept his, rather as an hous­hold-Servant, than a Retainer; which may in time bring them to a like Preferment: Such Agents may seem Lambs, but in the end they will be found as savage as Tygers, and as false as the Camelions. Till now our wanton King had never felt the true touch of a just grief; but mens misfortunes alter their impressions; he inwardly and heartily laments his own dishonour, yet strives to hide and conceal his Sorrow, lest those about him might be quite dejected. It was a bitter Corrosive to think, how oft his Royal Father had displaid his victorious Colours, which knew not how to fight un­less to conquer: How often had he over-run this Neigh­bour-Nation, and made them take such Laws as he imposed? How many times had he overthrown their greatest Armies, and made them sue they might be­come his Subjects? The memory of this doth vex his Spirits, and makes him vow Revenge and utter Ruine. He calls to Council all his Lords and Leaders, and lays before them antient Glory of the Kingdom, the late Misfortune, and his proper Errours, and lastly his desire to right his Honour. They glad to hear the King in the sense of so general a disgrace touch'd with so noble a strain, do spur it on before it cool'd, or the Scots should grow too proud of their new Glory. The former Loss had toucht so near the quick, that there is now a more wary Resolution: Dispatches are sent out for a more exact and full provision; a mature Consi­deration is thought necessary before it come to action: [Page 42] York is made the Cabinet for this grave Council, The King goes a se­cond time against the Scots.there the King soon appears, attended by all the bravest and ablest Spirits of the Kingdom. The act of the first con­ference tends to the security of Berwick, the street-door of the North, and principal Key of the borders. Sir Peter Spalden made Go­vernour of Barwick.This care with a full provision is committed to the Fidelity and Valour of Sir Peter Spalden; who undertakes the charge, being plentifully furnisht, and promiseth defence against the united Power of Scotland. This unfortunate King was as unhappy in Councel as in Action. A short time shews this unworthy Knight to the world false and perfidious. Robert le Bruce, that had this Strength as a mote in his eye, conceived it by force almost impregna­ble; Who be­trays it to the Scots, 1318.this made him seek to undermine it by corruption, and aloof off to taste the palate of this new Governour. The Hook was no sooner baited, but the Trout falls a nibbling; ready Money, and a specious promise of an expectant Preferment, makes this Conspiracy perfect, which at one blow sells the Town, with all its warlike Provisions, and the treacherous Keeper's Reputation and Honour. The Pope sends over two Cardi­nals, to me­diate a Peace.The Pope, who with a pious and a truely compassionate eye beheld the misery of this Dissention, and the unnatural effusion of so much Christian Bloud, seeks to reform it; and to this effect, sends over two of his Cardinals to mediate a Peace, and to compose, if it might be, the differences in question. They being ar­rived in England, come down into the North to the King, by whom they are with great Ceremony, accor­ding to the fashion of those Religious Times, received and welcomed. They discourse to him the occasion of their Employment, and encline him with many ex­cellent and vertuous motives to embrace a Peace with Scotland. The greenness of the Disgrace, and the late Wound yet bleeding new, kept him in a long demurrer. Yet the holy and milde prosecution of these holy Fathers won him at length to their Media­tion, with a proviso that he were not too far prejudiced [Page 43] in Interest and Honour. With this Answer they take their leave, and prosecute their Journey for Scotland; Who are robbed at Derlington.but with an example full of barbarous Inhumanity, they are in the way surpriz'd and robbed. Infinitely is the King incens'd with this audacious act, which threw so foul a stain upon the whole Nation; which causeth a strict inquisition for the discovery of these Malefactors, which are soon known and taken. Sir Gilbert de Middleton and Sir Walter de Selby exe­cuted for the same. Middleton and Selby, both Knights, expiate the offence with their shameful Execution. The persons of Embassadours amongst the most savage Nations are free from rapine; but being cloathed in the habit of Religion and such a Greatness, and going in a work so good and glorious, certainly it was an act deserv'd so severe a punishment. Immediate­ly at the heels of this, follows another Example less in­famous, but far more full of danger. Sir Josline Denvile with certain Ruffians in­fest the North.Sir Josline Den­vile, having wasted his estate, and not able to lessen the height of his former expences, gets into his society a Re­giment of Ruffians, terming themselves Out-laws: with these he infests the North with many outragious Riots; insomuch that no man that had any thing to loose, could be secure in his own house from Murder, Theft and Ra­pine. A little time had brought this little Army, rowling like a Snow-ball, to the number of 200; all the dis­eased flux of the corrupted humours of those parts flye to this Imposthume. An Attempt so impudent and daring flyes swiftly to the Kings knowledg. Report, that sel­dom lessens, makes the danger far greater than it de­serv'd: The Royal ear conceits it little better than a flat Rebellion, whose apprehension felt it self guilty of matter enough to work on. This made an instant levy, and as ready a dispatch for the suppression of the flame, while it but burnt the suburbs. Experience soon re­turns, the Fear is found greater than the Cause; the principal Heads and Props of this Commotion are sur­prized, and fall under the severity of that Law, whose protection they in this enterprize had absolutely dis­claimed. [Page 44] Those that more narrowly examin'd the depth of this Convention, believ'd it but a masque for a de­signe more perillous. The intemperate and indiscreet Government had alien'd the hearts of this People; there was a general face of Discontent over the whole King­dome; the Ulcers fester'd dayly more and more; the Scotish disaster is ascribed to the Regal weakness, and all things seem'd to tend to quick confusion. If this un­advised and ill-grounded disorder had tasted the general inclination in a more innocent and justifiable way, it was constantly believed the King had sooner felt the publick Revolt of the whole Kingdom: But this work was reserved till a farther time, and the operation of those that had the opportunity of effecting it with more power, and a fairer pretence of Justice. It is a very dangerous thing when the Head is ill, and all the Mem­bers suffer by his infirmity. Kings are but men, and Man is prone to Errour; yet if they manage their di­stempers with Wisdome or Discretion, so that they lye not open to publick view and censure, they may be counted faults, but not predictions: but when the heart is gangren'd, and the world perceives it, it is the fatal mark of that infection, which doth betoken ruine and destruction. The Cardi­nals return.The Cardinals are now come back, the hopes of Peace are desperate; the Scots are on the Sunny­side of the hedge, and will have no Conditions but such as may not be with Honour granted. Edward inflam'd, will have no farther Treaty; this makes them take their leave, and hasten homeward. Their Losses liberally are requited, and many goodly Gifts bestow'd at par­ting. The Pope Excommu­nicates the Scotch King and King­dom.Being come to Rome, they inform his Holiness of the success of their journey; who takes ill the contu­macy of the perfidious Scots, and excommunicates both that King and Kingdom. But this thunderbolt wrought a small effect; where Honesty had so little an acquain­tance, Religion must needs be a great stranger. The loss of Barwick, and the disgrace of his first Overthrow, [Page 45] calls the King to adventure a Revenge, which he thinks he had too long adjourned. He makes it a disputable question, whether he should besiege Barwick, or in­vade Scotland; but the consideration thereof is referr'd till the moving of the Army, which is advanc'd with all speed possible. Men, Arms, and Money, with all such other Provisions as were as well fit to continue the War as begin it, are suddenly ready in full proportion. The Army attends nothing but the King's Person, or some more lucky General to lead it. King Edw. besieges Barwick.In the knowledg he looseth no time, but appears in the Head of his Troops, and leads them on, making an armed hedge a­bout Barwick, before his enemies had full knowledg of his moving. The Council of War thought it not ex­pedient to leave such a thorn in the heel of so glorious an Army. The Scots thought it too great a hazard to attempt the breach of so strong a body, so excellently intrencht and guarded; the memory of former passages made them entertain this War with less heat, but with a more solid judgment. Barwick they knew was strong by Art and Nature, and fully provided to hold the En­glish play, till Want and the Season of the Year did make them weary. This made them leave the road­way, and continue the War more by Discretion than Valour. A great Dearth, which la­sted three years.But during these passages, the Divine Justice sends down the other three fatal executioners of his wrath, Plague, Dearth, and Famine; no part is free, but hath his portion of one or all of these so cruel Si­sters. The Scotch over-run the Borders.To make this misery more perfect, the wylie Scots taking the advantage of the King's fruitless encam­ping before Barwick, like a land-flood over-run the naked Borders, and boldly march forward into the Country, with Fury, Blood, and Rapine. The stuff that should stop this breach, was absent with the King, so that they finde no rub in their eruption. The Arch-Bishop of York oppo­seth them.The Arch-Bishop of York, a Reverend Old man, but a young Soul­dier; able enough in his element, but ignorant in the [Page 46] Rules of Martial Discipline, resolves to oppose this un­ruly devastation; he straightways musters up his Con­gregations, and gives them Arms, that knew scarce use of Iron. Soon had his example collected up a multitude, in number hopeful; but it was composed of men fitter to pray for the success of a Battle, than to fight it. and is bea­ten at Mil­ton upon Swale.With these, and an undaunted Spirit, he affronts his Enemies, and gives them an encounter, making Milton upon Swale more memorable by the blood of this Disaster. His Victorious and Triumphing Enemies christned this unhappy Conflict in derision, The white Battle. Many Religious-men, with loss of their Lives, purchas'd here their first Apprentiship in Arms, and found that there was a dangerous difference betwixt fighting and praying. The intent of this grave Bishop was certainly noble and worthy; but the act was in­considerate, weak, and ill-advised. It was not proper to his Profession, to undertake a Military Function, in which his hope in reason answer'd his experience; nei­ther did it agree with the Innocency and Piety of his Calling, to be an actor in the effusion of Blood, though the quarrel were defensive, but by compulsion. But questionless he meant well, which must excuse his action. Too great a care improperly exprest, doth often loose the cause it strives to advantage. In all de­liberations of this nature, where so many Lives are at stake, there should be a deep foresight even in matter of circumstance; and the quality as well of our own, as of our adversaries, duely considered; else with a dange­rous errour we leave the success to the will of Fortune, who in nothing is more tickle and wanton, than in the event of Battles, which are seldom gain'd by multitude, the Mother of Confusion. To be a General, is an act of greatness, and doth require a great and perfect Know­ledge, ripe by Experience, and made full by Practice. It is not enough to dare to fight, which is but Valour; but to know how and when, which makes it perfect. [Page 47] Discretion and Judgment sometimes teach advantage, which make (the weight being light) the scale more even. I will not deny, but the most expert Leader may have all these, and yet may loose a Battle; since (as all things are) this great designe is guided by a Divine Providence; and many Accidents may happen betwixt the Cup and the Lip, while things are in action. But he that hath a well-grounded and warrantable reason for his Engagement, may lose the day, and yet preserve his Honour. Wise-men do censure Errours, not Events of Actions, which shew them good or bad, as they be grounded. The News of the Defeat of this Spiritual Army, like the voice of a Night-raven, had no sooner croakt his sad eccho in the King's ear, but he straight raiseth his Army, weaken'd with Famine, and lessen'd with Sickness. The King leaves Bar­wick.The prigging Scots seeing his going off, judge his Retreat little better than a plain flight; which gave them heart to set upon the fag-end of his Troops, which they rout and break, to the astonishment of the whole Army. This done, they return, and think it honour enough they had done the work they came for. The King doubles his pace homewards; instead of Tri­umph, glad he had got loose from so imminent a danger. This blank return fill'd the Kingdom with a fretting mur­mur, and forreign Nations thought their Valour chang'd, who had so oft before o'recome this Nation. Mated with grief, opprest with shame and sorrow, Edward exclaims against his wayward Fortune, that made his Greatness, like the Crab, go backward; while he seeks to improve, the opinion of his worth he impairs, and grows still leaner; and when he shuns a taint, he findes a mischief. Sadly he now resolves no more to tempt her; he lays aside his Arms, for harms to feed his hu­mour. His Vanities (companions of his Greatness) had slept out the night of these combustions; he now a­wakes them, with a new assurance they should possess their former mansion. His wandring eyes now ravage [Page 48] through the confines of his great Court, made loose by his example. King seeks a new Fa­vorite.Here he seeks out some Piece, or Copper­metal, whom by his Royal stamp he might make cur­rant. He findes a spacious choice, being well-attended, but 'twas by such as made their tongues their fortunes; Vain-glory here found none to cure it, and the sick heart ne're felt the touch of Wormwood. The Agents were compos'd of the just temper, as was the spring that gave their tongues their motion; such an harmo­nious Consort fits the Organ, that lov'd no flats nor sharps, or forc'd division. No language pleas'd the King, (the Servants know it) but that which was as smooth as Gold new burnisht. Old antient truth was, like a thread-bare Garment, esteem'd a foul disgrace to cloath a Courtier. Sincerity was no fit Master for these Revels, nor honest Plainness for a seat in Council. This made this King, this Court, and glorious Kingdom, fall by degrees into a strange confusion. The Infide­lity of Servants cloathed in hypocrisie, betrayes the Ma­ster, and makes his misery greater or less dangerous, according to the qualities of their employments. It is an excellent consideration for the Majesty of a King, in election, to reflect on Goodness, Truth, and Ability, for his attendance, more than the natural parts, or those that are by Art and Cunning made pliable to his Dispo­sition. The first prove the props of Greatness, the other the instruments of Danger and Disorder; which makes the Master at best pitied, but most commonly hated and suspected. Neither is it safe for the Royal ear to be principally open to one mans information, or to rely solely on his judgment. Multiplicity of able Servants that are indifferently (if not equally) counte­nanced, are the strength and safety of a Crown, which gives it glory and lustre. When one man alone acts all parts, it begets a world of errour, and endangers not only the Head, but all the Members.

Edward could not but know, that a new President [Page 49] over his Royal actions, must make his Subjects his but at a second hand; yet he is resolv'd of a new choice, of such a Favourite as might supply and make good the room of his lost beloved Gaveston; hence sprung that fatal fire which scorcht the Kingdom with intestine Ruine. He was put to no great trouble to seek a for­reign Climate; he had variety of his own, that might be easily made capable enough for such a loose employ­ment. He had a swarm of Sycophants that gap'd after greatness, and cared not to pawn their Souls to gain promotion; Spencer ta­ken into fa­vour.amongst these his eye fixt on Spencer, a man till then believ'd a naked States-man; he was young, and had a pleasing aspect; a personage though not super-excellent, yet well enough to make a formal Mi­nion.

The Ladder by which he made his ascent, was principally thus: he had been always conformable to the King's Will, and never denied to serve his appe­tite in every his ways and occasions; which was vertue enough to give him wealth and title. Some others think this feat was wrought by Witchcraft, and by the Spells of a grave Matron, that was suspected to have a Journey­man Devil to be her Loadstone: which is not alto­gether improbable, if we behold the progression; for never was Servant more insolently fortunate, nor Ma­ster unreasonably indulgent. Their passages are as much beyond belief, as contrary to the Rules of Reason. But leaving the discourse of the Cause, the King ap­plauds his own Workmanship, and doats infinitely on the Non-age of this Imposture, which seeing the ad­vantage, labours to advance it; and though in his own nature he were proud, harsh, and tyrannous, yet he cloaths himself in the habit of Humility, as obsequious to his Master, as smooth and winning to his Acquain­tance; knowing that a Rub might make the Bowl fall short while it was running: Heat of Blood, and height of Spirit, consult more with Passion than Judgment; [Page 50] where all sides are agreed, quick ends the bargain. Spencer must rise, the King himself avows it; and who was there durst cross their Sovereigns pleasure? The resolution known, like flocks of Wild-geese, the spawn of Court-corruption fly to claw him. The great ones that till now scarce knew his Off-spring, think it an ho­nour to become his Kinsmen: The Officers of State, to win his favour, forget their Oaths, and make his Will their Justice. Lord, how the Vermin creep to this warm Sun-shine, and count each Beam of his a special Favour! Such a thing is the Prologue of a beginning Greatness, that it can Metamorphose all but those that hate it.

The King, though he were pleased with this new structure, yet his inward revolutions were not alto­gether free from agitation. He beheld the Lords and Kingdom now quiet, and the Scotch Tragedy worn out of memory; he was not without cause doubtful, whe­ther this new Act might not cause a new Distraction: He calls to minde the ground of his first troubles, and found it had with this a near resemblance; He looks upon the sullied State scarce cleansed, and fear'd this leap might cause a new pollution. These thoughts, like misty vapours, soon dissolved, and seem'd too dull to feed his Love-sick fancy. His hatred to the Barons bids him freely venture; that in their moving he might so op­press them, which on cool blood might seem too great Injustice. Gaveston's Death lay in his heart impostum'd, not to be cur'd, but by a bloody issue. From this false ground he draws his proper ruine, making Phantasms seem as deeds were acted. Such Castles in the Air are poor Conceptions, that sell the Skin before the Beast be killed. The Barons were no Children, he well knew it; the hope was little might be got with striving, where all the Kingdom was so much distasted; but he priz'd high his own, contemning theirs, which wrought their Death, and after his Misfortune. Being resolv'd to coun­tenance his Will with more haste than advisement, He [Page 51] honours the subject of his choice with the Lord Cham­berlain's place, professing freely he thought him worthy, and would maintain him in it. This foreright jump going so high, made all men wonder, and soon suspect him guilty of some secret vertue. Scarce had this new great Lord possession of the White-staff, but he forgets his former being, and sings the right Night-crow's tune of upstart Greatness, and follows his Predecessors pat­tern to the life, but with a far more strength and cun­ning. He was not born a stranger or an alien, but had his Birth and breeding here, where he is exalted; and though he had not so much depth to know the Secrets, yet understands the plain-Song of the State, and her progressions, which taught him his first Lesson, That Infant-greatness falls where none support it: Spencers po­licy.From this principle, his first work is employ'd to win and to pre­serve an able party. To work this sure, he makes a Monopoly of the Kings ear, no man may gain it but by his permission; establishing a sure intelligence with­in the Royal Chamber; not trusting one, but having sundry Agents, who must successively attend all mo­tions. By this he wedgeth in his Sentinels at such a distance, that none can move, but he receives the Larum. The first request he makes his Sovereign (who ne're denied him) was, that he would not pass a Grant, till he survey'd it; for this he makes a zealous care the cover, left by such Gift the Subject might be grieved, the King abused. This stratagem unmaskt, gave perfect knowledge, who ever leapt the Horse he held the Bridle, which rein'd his foes up short, while friends unhors'd them; and raised as he pleased all such as brib'd or sought him. To mix these serious strains with lighter objects, he feeds the current of his Sovereign's Vices with store of full delights, to keep him busied, whilst he might act his part with more attention. He quarrels those whom he suspects too honest, or at the least not his more than their Masters, and quickly puts them off, [Page 52] that there may be entry for such as he prefers, his proper creatures; so that a short time makes the Court all of a piece at his Commandment. Those whom he fear'd in State would cross his workings, he seeks to win by favour or alliance; if they both fail, he tenders fairly to lift them higher by some new promotion, so he may have them sure on all occasions; and with these baits he catcht the hungry Planets. Such as he findes too faithful for surprisal, these he sequesters, mounting his Kindred up to fill their places. The Queen, that had no great cause to like those Syrens, that caus'd her grief, and did seduce her Husband, he yet presumes to court with strong professions, vowing to serve her as a faith­ful Servant. She seeing into the quality of the time, where he was powerful, and she in name a Wife, in truth a Hand-maid, doth not oppose, but more increase his Greatness, by letting all men know that she receiv'd him. To win a nearer place in her opinion, he gains his Kindred places next her person; and those that were her own, he bribes to back him. The Court thus fa­shion'd, he levels at the Country, whence he must gain his strength, if need enforc'd it. Here he must have an estate, and some sure refuge; this he contrives, by begging the Custody of divers of the principal Honours and Strength of the Kingdom. But these were no inheri­tance which might perpetuate his Memory, or continue his Succession. He makes a Salve for this Sore; and to be able to be a fit Purchaser of Lands, by the bene­fit of the Prerogative he falls a selling of Titles, in which it was believ'd he thriv'd well, though he sold many more Lordships than he bought Mannors; by this means yet he got many pretty retiring places for a youn­ger Brother, within the most fertil Counties of the King­dom. This for the Private, now to the Publick; he makes sure the principal Heads of Justice, that by them his credit might pleasure an old Friend, or make a new at his pleasure. If in this number any one held him at [Page 53] too smart a distance, prizing his integrity and honour before so base a traffique, he was an ill Member of State, and either silenc'd, or sent to an Irish or Welsh Employ­ment. It is enough to be believ'd faulty, where a disputation is not admitted. The Hare knows her ears be not horns, yet dares not venture a Tryal, where things must not be sentenc'd as they are, but as they are taken. The Commanders that sway most in Popu­lar Faction, as far as he durst or might without com­bustion, he causeth to be conferr'd o [...] his Friends and Kindred; and above all things, he settles a sure Cor­respondence of Intelligence in all the quarters of the Kingdome, as a necessary leading president: he fills the peoples ears with rumour of forreign danger, to busie their brains from discoursing Domestick Errours; and sends out a rabble of spying Mercuries, who are instructed to talk liberally, to taste other mens inclina­nations, and feel the pulses of those that had most cause to be discontented. For the antient Nobility, which was a more difficult work to reduce to conformity, lay­ing aside the punctilio's of his greatness, he strives to gain them as he won his Master; but when he found them shy and nice to make his party, he slights them more and more, to shew his Power, and make them seek to entertain his favour. And to eclipse their Power by birth and number, he findes the means to make a new Creation, which gave the Rabble-Gentry upstart Honours, as Children do give Nuts away by handfuls; yet still he hath some feeling of the business. Lastly, he wins the King to call his Father to the Court, who with the shoal of all his Kin are soon exalted, while he makes all things lawful that correspond his Will, or Masters Humour. The Barons incensed.He thus assuming the ad­ministration of the Royal affairs, his Master giving way to all his actions, the incensed Lords grown out of pa­tience, appoint the rendevouz of a secret Meeting at Sharborough, where they might descant their griefs with [Page 54] more freedom, yet with such a cautelous Secrecy, that this Harpy with his Lyncean eyes could not perceive their anger. Assoon as they were met, Thomas of Lancaster, the most eminent of this Confederacy, in a grave dis­course lays before them the Iniquity of the time, the In­solency of this new Ganymede, and the Kings intem­perate wretchlesness, which made the Kingdom a prey to all manner of Injustice. Hereford adviseth, that they should all together petition the King, that he would be pleased to look into the Disorders, and grant a Refor­mation. Mowbray, Mortimer, and the rest, soar a higher pitch, which Clifford thus expresseth.

Clifford's Speech.
My Lords, It is not now as when brave Lincoln lived, whom Edward fear'd, and all the Kingdom honoured. Nor is this new Lord a Gaveston, or naked Stranger, that only talkt, and durst not act his Passions. We now must have to do with one of our own Country, which knows our ways, and how to intercept them: See you not how he weaves his webs in Court and Country, leaving no means untryed may fence his greatness? And can you think a verbal Blast will shake him, or a set Speech will sink his daring Spi­rit? No, he is no fantastick Frenchman, but knows as well as we where we can hurt him: his Pride is such, he'll ne're go less a farding; but he must fall a key, or we must ruine. Women and Children make their tongues their Wea­pons; true Valour needs no words, our wrongs no wran­gling. Say this unconstant King hear our Petition, admit he promise to redress our Grievance; this sends us home secure and well-contented, until the Plot be ripe for our de­struction. If you will needs discourse your cause of Grie­vance, be yet provided to make good your errour; a wise man gets his guard, then treats Conditions, which works a Peace with ease and more assurance. All Treaties vain, our Swords must be our warrant, which we may draw by such a just compulsion: those ready, then attempt your pleasure, and see if words can work a Reformation. [Page 55] I am no tongue-man, nor can move with language; but if we come to act, I'll not be idle: Then let us fall to Arms without disputing; We'll make this Minion stoop, or dye with honour.

The Barons take Arms.This rough Speech, uttered with a Souldier-like liber­ty, by one so truly noble and valiant, inflam'd the hearts of such as heard them. They concur all in a gene­ral approbation, and thereupon they fall to present Levies. Mortimer, a brave young active Spirit, with his Retinue, gains the maiden-head of this great Action. Mortimer spoils Spen­cer's Posses­sion.He enters furiously upon the possession of the Spencers, spoiling and wasting like a profest enemy. This outrage flies swift­ly to the owners, and appears before them like Scoggins crow, multipli'd in carriage. They assoon make the King the sharer of their intelligence, and increase it to their best advantage. Edward sensible of so audacious an affront, thought it did yet rather proceed from private spleen than publick practice; The Kings Proclamati­tion there­on.which made him in the tenderness of the one, and malice to the other, by Pro­clamation thus make known his pleasure, That the Actors of this misdemeanour should immediately appear perso­nally, and shew cause, whereby they might justifie their Actions, or forthwith to depart the Kingdom, and not to return without his special License. When the tenour of this Sentence was divulged, and come to the know­ledge of the Confederate Lords, they saw their interest was too deeply at stake to be long shadow'd. In the obe­dience of such a doom, the primitiae of their Plot must re­ceive a desperate blemish. They therefore resolve, as they had begun, so to make good and maintain the quarrel; they reinforce their Forces, and draw them in­to a body strong enough to boulster out their doings, and to bid a base to the irresolute wanton King and his inglorious Favourite, whose Platforms were not yet so compleat, as that they durst adventure the Tryal of so strong a Battery. Yet the more to justifie their Arms [Page 56] (which in the best construction seem'd to smatch of Re­bellion) they send unto the King a fair and humble Message, the Tenor whereof lets him know, that The Barons Message to the King. Their intentions were fair and honest; and that the Arms thus levied, were to defend his Honour, and not offend his Person. The Sufferings of the Kingdom were so deep and weighty, that all was like to run to present ruine, un­less he would be pleas'd to cure this Feaver. In all hu­mility they desire he would sequester from his presence, and their usurpt authority, those Instruments which acted this disorder, and that their doings might receive a test by a fair Tryal. To this if he give way, they would attend him with all the expressions of a Loyal Duty; but if his heart were hardned for denial, they then intreat his pardon that would not be Spectators of the general mischief which drew too swiftly on by this Distemper. The King receiving so peremptory a Message, thinks this fair gloss a kind of By-your-leave in spight of your teeth. He saw readily how the Game went, and was loath to strike the Hive, for fear the Swarm should sting him. Dearly he doted on his Minion, yet conceiv'd it fitter he should a little suffer, than they both should ruine, which probably might soon ensue if they prevailed. He had no power provided to withstand them, nor was he sure that time would make it stronger; the Lords were well belov'd, their quarrel pleasing, while he had nothing but the name of King, might hope assistance. Now he con­demns bitterly his improvidence, that had not secur'd his work before he acts it. Spencer, that saw himself thus quite forestalled, and his great foresight in a manner useless, since those whom he had made were but a hand­ful, and those of the poorer sort of weaker spirits, that stow themselves in tempests under Hatches, knew 'twas too late to think of opposition; and therefore perswades his irresolute Master to subscribe to the present necessity: yet so, that these angry Hornets might not be their own Carvers. He knew, or at least believ'd, his faults were [Page 57] not yet Capital, yet could not tell what construction might be given, if those which were his enemies were admitted to be his sole Judges; and therefore made ra­ther choice to be at the mercy of a Parliament, than at their disposing. He was not without hope to be able to make an able party in this Assembly, where at worst he knew he should be sentenc'd, rather by spleen than fury. This resolution by the King approved, an answer is return'd to the Lords: The Kings Answer. That his Majesty having ex­amin'd the contents of their Petition, found therein a fair pretext of Justice and reason; and that if their allegations were such as were by them pretended, himself would with as much willingness as they could desire, joyn in the act of Reformation. But for as much as private Passion maskt it self sometimes under the vail of publike grievance, and parti­cular ends had the pretext of general Reformation, he thought it expedient to make this rather a Parliamentary work than the act of his Prerogative, or their inforcement; which was more for their proper Honours, and the good of the whole Kingdom: which resolution if they thought fit to entertain, he wisht them to lay down their Arms, which were the marks rather of an intended violence, than a real desire of Justice; that done, in the knowledg of their approbation, he would speedily cause his Summons to be sent out for the calling together of this great Assembly. The reception of this answer was not displeasing to the Barons, who desir'd those might be the Judges that had equally smarted with the stripes of this affliction; yet they conceiv'd it not wisdom to disband their Forces on a bare supposition; which could not be yet continued, without too much charge, and too great jealousie. To reconcile this, they divide themselves, every one retaining to himself a guard sufficient to assure his Person; and so dispose the rest, that they might be ready on the least Item. Things standing thus, the Writs and Proclamations for Election are sent out, in which there was as much time won as might be taken without suspition. Now is there stiff [Page 58] labouring on all sides (though not visibly, yet with under­hand working) to cause a major part in this Election; which the Lords wisely foreseeing (as the main spring that must keep all the wheels in their right motion) had be­forehand so provided for, that the engines of the adverse Party serv'd rather to fright, than make a breach in the rule and truth of this Election. The subjects sensible of the disorders of the Kingdom, and seeing into the ad­vantage which promis'd a liberty of Reformation, make choice of such as for their wisdome and integrity deserv'd it; rejecting such as fought it by corruption, or might be in reason suspected. This made the undertakers fall short and wide of the Bow-hand.

The Barons appear with a strong Guard.The day of appearance being come, the jealous Lords would not rely so much on the King's good Na­ture, but that they come up like themselves, bravely attended with several Crews of lusty Yeomen, that knew no other way to win their Landlords favour, but with Fidelity and Valour. These, for distinction, and that they might be known all Birds of a feather, are suited in Cassocks with a white guard athwart; which gave this the name of the Parliament of white Bends. Spencer seeing the Retinue of his Adversaries, makes himself a Rampire of all his Servants, Friends and Kin­dred. The jealous Citizens, that sometime look beyond their Shop-board, seeing such a confluence from all parts of the Kingdom, and so ill-inclin'd, had a kinde of shivering phantasie, lest while these strong Work­men fell a hammering, the Corporation might become the Anvil. The Mayor, to prevent the worst, doubleth the Guards, and plants a strong Watch to keep the Gates and Suburbs. Now according to the usual Custome, the Speaker is presented, and the King himself doth thus discourse his pleasure, which they attend e're they begun this Session.

The King's Speech to the Parlia­ment.My Lords, and you the Commons of the Nether-House! [Page 59] I have at this time call'd you hither, to crave your aid, advice, and best assistance. I am inform'd my Subjects are abus'd, and that the Kingdoms welfare dayly suffers; such actions I maintain not, nor will suffer. Sift out the depth of this, and finde the Authors; which found, I'll punish as your selves think fitting. A Kingdomes weight depresseth so his Owner, that many faults may scape his eye unquestion'd; your Body is the Perspicil that shews him what errours be, and how he may prevent them; which leads both King and Subject to a settled quiet. Be not too curious in your inquisition, which wastes but time, and feeds diseased Passion; nor may you make those faults that are not, which savours more of Envy than of Justice. Actions of State you may not touch but nicely, they walk not in the Road of vulgar Knowledge; these are high Mysteries of private workings, which fore-right eyes can never see exactly: You cannot blindfold judge their form or substance. As all times are believ'd, these may be guilty; yet let your Judgments make them so, not private Fancy, which is the Nurse that suckles up confusion. So grave a Senate should not be the meeting where men do hunt for News to feed their malice. Nor may you trench too near your Soveraigns actions, if they be such as not concern the Publick: You would not be restrain'd that proper freedom, which all men challenge in their private dwellings: My Servants are mine own, I'll sift their errours, and in your just complaint correct their Vices. Seek not to bar me of a free election, since that alone doth fully speak my Power: I may in that endure no touch or cavil, which makes a King seem lesser than a Subject. I know those I affect are more observed, and Envy waits their actions, if not Ha­tred; 'twere yet Injustice they for this should suffer, or for my Love, not their own Errours, perish. What one among you would not be exalted, or be to me as he whom now you aim at? Reason and Nature tye me to their limits, else might you share it in a like proportion.

Ambition, that betrays poor Mans Affections, stares al­ways [Page 60] upwards, sees nothing beneath it, till striving to o'rethrow some lofty Steeple, it stumbling falls in some foul Saw-pit. Perhaps the Court is guilty of some Errours, the Countrey is not free from worse Oppressions; yet these are wav'd, as acts unfit your knowledge, which rob and tear the poor distressed Commons, who must be still possest; my greater Agents are the contrivers of this publick mischief, while you by these make good your proper greatness. This should not be, if you conceit it rightly; 'tis far from Justice and a due Proportion, one man should fall, and thousands stay unpunisht, that are more guilty far of foul transgression. If you would sift, and with unpartial dea­ling sweep from the Kingdom such unjust Oppressors, it were a work of goodness worth your labour, would leave to after-times a brave Example. But these Assemblies think those acts improper, which may reflect upon the pro­per freehold of those that are most nice, and apt to censure. I now desire (it is your Soveraign speaks it) you will re­form this kinde of strange proceeding; prejudicate not any till you finde him faulty, nor shoot your darts at one, where more are guilty. In such a number diversly affected, there are, I fear, too many thus affected, that this advantage fits their private rancour, making the Publick Good the stale and subject, which aims unvail'd at nought but In­novation. These busie-brains, unfit to be Law-makers, let graver Heads restrain by their discretions; else I must make them know and feel my Power. I will support and still assist your Justice, but may not suffer such a fond distemper. Your Priviledge gives warrant, speak in free­dome; yet let your words be such as may become you; if they flye out to taint my Peace or Honour, this San­ctuary may not serve to give Protection; if so, some discontent, or ill-affected Spirit may challenge Power to vent a Covert Treason. But your own Wisdomes, I presume, will guide you to make this such, that I may often call you. What more is fit, or doth remain un­touch'd, you still shall understand in your progression, [Page 61] wherein let Vertue lead, and Wisdome rule your tem­per.

The King having ended, the several Members of this goodly Body draw together; where notwithstanding this grave admonition full of implicite direction, they fall roundly to their business. For forms-sake, they a while discourse the petty Misdemeanors of the Kingdom, to make a fairer introduction into the main end of their Assembly. A few Balls being tost and bandied to and fro, they begin to crack the Nut where the Worm lay that eat the Kernel. No sooner was the Vote of the House discover'd, but informations fly in like Points, by dozens; no business is discours'd which toucht the disho­nour of the King, the grief of the Kingdom, or the op­pression of the Subject, but straight flies upward, and makes a noise that all had one beginning. The Com­mons Charge a­gainst Spen­cer.The general thus far questioned, the particulars come to a reckoning, wherein Spencer is pointblanck charg'd with Insolency, Injustice, Corruption, Oppression, neglect of the publick and immoderate advancement of his own particular. Those few faint friends he had gotten into this number, more to express their own abilities, than with a hope of prevail­ing, hearing these thundering aspersions, rise up to justifie, or if that fall short, to extenuate the faults of their glorious Patron; but their Oratory prov'd, just like the Cause they strive to defend, full of apparent falshood. Those nimbler spirits that haunt the Ghosts of corrupted greatness, seek not to Vndermine this great Building, whose structure had so hasty and rotten a Foundation, but prove in reason, justice, and necessity, that it ought to be Demolished, since it was the Spring that polluted all the lesser Fountains. The places of Judicature being still marted, the Purchaser must sell his Judgements; which was a commerce fit for those that had the worst, and were most diffident. The Simoniacal trading for Spiri­tual promotions, as it dishonoured the dignity, so it must [Page 62] exalt such as knew better how to share their Flocks than feed them. Bartring of Honour for private lucre, would ruine the glory of antiquity in blood, and in another age, as prodigal as this, make Lords as common as Drovers. Possession of so many great Offices, as it was an injury to those of more deserving, so might it in time become a Mo­nopoly for every new-made Vpstart. Setling the strengths and Military Provision in the command of One so much in­sufficient, must open the way to foraign loss, or do­mestick mischief. Planting of the principal Officers of the Common-wealth by one mans corrupt distribution, must bring all to his guidance, and the Kingdom to con­fusion. Admission of the Royal ear to one Tongue only, ties all the rest, and resembles the Councel-chamber to a School where Boys repeat their Lessons. These pas­sages discours'd and Aphorism'd at large in the House; at the private Committee, divers fouler suspitions and aggra­vations are treated with a greater freedom; which being again with their several proofs reported before the whole Body, by the general doom he is pronunced guilty. This daring favourite seeing the violence of the Tide, be­gins to fear it; and letting his Anchor fall, hulls out the full Sea in the Royal Harbour; he strikes his top-sail, yet contemns the Winds that cause the Tempest, and quarrels with their Power must be his Judges. This takes away all hope of reconcilement, and more inflam'd their hearts that did pursue him. They know he now must fall, or they must ruine. Lions may not be toucht, till they be sure, lest breaking loose, they tear those Gins that catch them. This consideration begets a solemn Messenger, well at­tended with divers Seconds, to make a full relation both of their Verdict and whole Proceedings.

The Spen­cers banish­ed.The Lords being prepossest by their own knowledg, of all the actions of this false Impostor, after a Conference and grave discussion, pronounce their Sentence, That the Spencers, Father and Son, should both be forthwith sent to live in Exile. This done, a grave Declaration is [Page 63] made by both Houses, and presented to the King, expres­sing the Tenour of their doom, and reasons moved them to it. The King, as weak in his distractions, as wilful in advantage, sees now there was no striving, unless he would adventure his own hazard by such denial. No time is now left for dispute; he ratifies the Sentence, and present execution swiftly follows Judgment. Imme­diately are these two great Courtiers carryed with more attendants than they car'd for, unto the Port of Dover, and straightways shipt, to seek some other Fortune. The Son is no whit dejected, but bears up bravely: He knew his Master's Love, and scorn'd their Malice. Parting, he takes a silent farewel full of rancour, which vows revenge, and hopes to live to act it. The aged Father, whose Guilt was less, and sorrow greater, de­serv'd in Justice Pity and Compassion; his snowie Winter melts in tears, and shews his inward grievance; bitterly he taxeth his Sons Pride, and his own Vanity, exclaiming against the rigour of his fortune, that had in the last act of his age cast him so cruelly from his Inheritance, and at the very brink of the grave estrang'd him from his Birth-right. He confesseth the impro­vidence of his errour, which being rais'd by by-ways, sought to keep it. Lastly, he wisheth his behaviour had been such, that in this change might give him help or pity; but it is the inseparable companion of Great­ness fraudulently gotten, not by Desert or Vertue, it prefers falshood, and a kinde of shifting juggling, before a winning truth or goodness, which draws with it a firm assurance. Of all others, it is the most erroneous fond opinion, which conceits Affections may be won and continued in a subordinate way. They are the proper Operations of the Soul, which move alone in their own course, without a forc'd compulsion. Other ways may serve as temporary provisions, but he that by a just desert, and credit of his own worth, hath won the Love of good men, hath laid himself a sure founda­tion: [Page 64] This makes his Honour his own, and the Succes­sion permanent to his continuing praise and glory. These imperious Servants thus removed, the elder, in obedience of his Doom, makes a forreign Climate wit­ness his Submission. The Son turns Pi­rate.The younger, of a more impatient and turbulent spirit, makes the spacious Sea the centre of his dwelling. He would not trust to any other Na­tion, since his own Climate so unkindly left him. The King, yet scarcely weaned from his sorrow, makes yet fair weather to the parting Barons; He thanks them for their care and great discretion, which he would still ac­knowledge and remember. Thus Kings can play their parts, and hide their Secrets, making the Tongue the in­strument of sweetness, when that the Heart is full of bitter Gall and Wormwood. They knew he juggled, yet applaud his Goodness, and give him back an An­swer justly suiting; their Tongues seem'd twins, their Hearts had both one temper, which at the length oc­casioned all their ruine. And thus with the Enacting of some few ragged Laws, He dissolves this Meeting. Now is the lost Chamberlain furrowing up the watery sides of angry Neptune, wafting about the skirts of his first dwelling: falling short in the possibility of revenge of those he hated, he vows to make the harmless Mer­chant feel it. What by surprize, and what by purchase, he had made himself strong at Sea, and well provided; with which he scowres the Coast, and robs all comers, making a prize of all he rifled. Sometimes he slips into the private Harbours, and thence brings out the Ships were newly laden: such work to those that trade by Sea, breeds strange amazement. A Piracy so strong and daring, soon makes the terrour great, the clamour great­er: the Councel-table's covered with Petitions, the Royal ear is cloy'd with exclamations; all still enforce that Trade must sink and founder, unless the King the sooner did prevent it. Edward well knew their griefs, and did believe them; but saw withal it was his Spencer [Page 65] caused them, whom he too well affected to pursue with danger. He thinks it reason to ease his grievance ere he right the Subject; let them expect and bite upon the bridle, that they may taste the errour of their Judg­ment. Necessity in time would make them seek their quiet, the means whereof he thinks not fit to motion; yet still he thunders out his shew of anger, and gives directions that shipping should be rigg'd and mann'd, well-furnish'd to bang this Pyrate off from his oppressi­on, whom he would take, or lose the Royal Navy; yet under-hand he countermands these Precepts, pretending present want for such provision as might make good at full this Expedition; which should be done securely, though delay'd. While thus the rage grows out of this disorder, all Plaints prove fruitless, there was no provision. The flock of Merchants all appear before him, letting him know the state they stood in; The Mer­chants peti­tion the King against him. Their Stocks, his Custome must impair and minish, unless some present course repress this Pyrate. The King gave An­swer, The Kings Answer. He laments and pitied their Loss, his Wants, and private Dangers, which in the instant was of such a na­ture, that he had cause to fear his proper safety. The Malecontents, that fish in troubled waters, were plotting new Combustions to act their malice; he understood their workings strong and cunning, which he was forc'd to stop with haste, or loose the Garland. This was the cause he could not yet go onward to help their griefs, which shortly he intended; till which, he wisht their grave Deliberations could fall upon some way might stop the current, and take off Spencer from so curst proceeding, which he believ'd he acted by enforcement, rather than Will to wrong his fellow-Subjects. The Citizens, as naturally talkative as suspi­cious, parting from the King forget their Losses, and fall to a liberal discoursing upon the King's words, what the Plot of this great Treason might be. They were not without a kinde of jealous suspicion, lest the City might share in the sufferance, if it came to be acted. [Page 66] A little time brought this news to be the common dis­course of every Barbers shop and Conduit. To make the suspition more authentical, the King makes a strong Guard about his Person, sending forth directions to his friends and all his well-affected subjects, that they should enable themselves with the best strength they could, and to be ready on occasion upon an hours warning. The King writes to the Lords.To lull the watchful Lords asleep, he addresses unto them his particular Letters, full of humanity and gentleness, desiring as he most reposed on their loves and fidelity, so that they would (if the necessity required) be ready to as­sist him against a crew of disordered persons, who were se­cretly contriving both the ruine of Himself, the antient No­bility, and the Kingdom; their Plot was not yet ripe, and he conceiv'd it in the reason of State, fit to have the Birds flush before he caught them. The Lords, that in the first rumour suspected it had some reflection on their particular, or a meer noise without ground or substance; on the receipt of this Letter alter their opinion, and believe there was some real cause of this suspition. They knew the King was wretchless, dull, and sleepy, and did not use to wake but when it thunder'd; they think him short in depth of so much judgment, as with a Jigg of State might catch them naked. His Letter seem'd a character of truth, but not of cunning; this kept them free from boubt, but not from danger.

The Barons Answer.They send back an answer graciously received; them­selves, their strengths and states should wait his Pleasure. These passages thus spent, the Citizens, that like no laws but those of profit, do lay their heads together, to finde out a way how to dispose things, so that they might trade with safety. A cunning Enginier (one of the Kings own making) avows there was no means but one to make things sure, which was, to move the King to call the Spencers home, and reconcile them. The sequel was not fearful, since this Tryal would make them know themselves, and be more quiet; if not, they yet might [Page 67] be in distance where they might be surpriz'd if they of­fended. This Proposition findes consent and liking in the grave Brain of the deep Corporation: in stead of punishment so well deserved, the Thief must be prefer­red, to free the passage; The Londo­ners Peti­tion for Spencers return.yet to excuse their errour, they saw the King had an itching inclination that way, and were not without a hope that Spencer being by their means recalled, would, of a profest enemy, become a sure friend to the City. This gave them heart to draw up their Petition, and immediately to present it to the King; who having that he lookt for, in outward shew seem'd nothing well contented. He bids them examine well the nature of their Petition, which run in a direct line in opposition against a Parliamental sentence, and would incense the reconciled Barons, against whose strength he could not well oppose, but it must hazard him and all the Kingdom. Yet if their wisdomes did think fit, in their assur'd assistance he would venture, since he prefer'd their good before his private. Though Spencer had transgrest his will and pleasure, yet their intreaty should dispense his errour, in hope he would become a new-made Subject. They cry God bless your Grace; revoke your Judgment, you shall command our lives to back your goodness. Ed­ward thus far on his way, causeth a Declaration to be made, containing the request of his faithful subjects, and beloved Royal Chamber of London, at whose importu­nate intreaty he thought fit, out of his grace, and ten­derness of the general good, to recal the Spencers, who had given sufficient caution for their future good abear­ing. The Spen­cers return.This known, soon brings them back to grace and favour: their petty thefts at Sea must have a sure way to trade in; they must return to shave and rob the King­dom, 'twas thought more fit, than they should rob the Merchants. 'Tis strange to see what shift this poor King made to work his own undoing. But when Religion's lost, and Virtue banisht, and men begin to trade with slights and falshood, the end proves fatal, and doth lead them [Page 68] blindfold into the ways that work their own destrustion. The actions of a Crown are exemplar, and must be perfect, clean, upright, and honest; their errours die not with them, but are register'd in the story of their Lives with Infamy or Honour: which consideration may in justice beget a sincerity and cautelous respect from acting under the pretence of policy, those stratagems which seem, but are not fruit of Royal goodness. A like care must be had in the limitation of affections, so that they enforce him not to those ways, which at one blow take from him his Judgment and his Honour. The power Majestick is or should be bounded; and there is a reciprocal correspondence, which gives the King the obedience, the subject equal right and perfect justice, by which they claim a property in his actions; if either of these fall short, or prove defective by wilful errour, or by secret practice, the State's in danger of a follow­ing mischief. The Spencers thus return'd, are reinvested into their former high and wonted greatness: the burnt Child fears the Fire; they know their danger, and not attend the Storm until they feel it. Their Masters Plot they second, and closely gain a strength for present Action: That done, they appear with confidence, and by main strength seek to crush those of the adverse faction. Sir Barthol. Baldsmere's Castle seised.Sir Bartholomew Baldsmere is the first that tasts the Prologue; they seize upon his Castle of Leedes with­out or Law or Title; he sues to have his own, but is re­jected. Their peremptory return, and the abrogation of that Law that sent them packing, was provocation enough; there needed not a second motive to enflame the angry Barons: but when they understood the unjust oppression of their confederate, and the daily levies that were underhand made, they then conceive it time to look about them. They finde the fruit of dalliance, and visibly see into the Kings Plot, which had abus'd them; condemning their credulity and coldness, that had not spoil'd the brood while it was hatching. The King, [Page 69] who had so oft been catcht, was now more wary; and resolving to be aforehand with his business, prepares his Forces. He knew his Arms, not Tongue, must plead his Quarrel; another errour in his Guard, he suspects, would make him liable to a more curst proceeding. His Favou­rite, that had his Spies in every corner, is soon inform'd the Potion was a brewing would give him Physick, if he did not prevent it: the gathering Clouds portend a sudden Darkness, which threaten showers of Bloud and Civil Mischief. He thinks his Guilt above the Rate of Favour, and vows to wade in Bloud, or die, or vanquish. To suffer still, and not to act, he counts it weakness; which makes him strive to be the first Invader. The King takes Arms.He wins the King to march with those strong Forces their foresight had prepar'd, being soon united. Seizes the two Morti­mers.The first Exploit seizeth the two Mortimers, that with an unadvi­sed security had plaid over their old Game anew on his Possessions. Their Strength was great enough for an Incursion, but far too weak to cope with such an Army. Their Resolution was to give the Larum, and then re­treat to knit with their Confederates; but they were in­tercepted ere they fear'd it, and made the Tower the Prize of their Adventure.

Thus sometimes it falls out, who acts Injustice, is catcht in the same Net himself was weaving. The Lords with this Report are strangely startl'd; they see them­selves forestall'd in their own Working; Arms now they know must be their Warrant, or else their Lives must pay a bitter Forfeit. The Barons rise.Their Forces were not yet fully ready, yet they march on, resolv'd to wait the Kings approach at Burton. Time, that runs swift to Mischief, slow to Goodness, at length conjoyns their Strength and several Levies; which were not great, and yet believ'd sufficient to give a Canvas to the Royal Army; which, as their Curriers told them, was not mighty. Soon are they brought to view each others Countenance; where Friend against Friend, and Son against the Father, Bro­ther [Page 70] against the Brother, stood embattl'd: such mischief follows still a Civil Discord. The Kings Force far ex­ceeds in strength and number, which made the Terms of hazard far unequal. The adverse part perceiving well the danger which they were in, if they abide the Tryal, condemn their own belief, and Servants falshood, who had so far fallen short in their discovery. But now a second Deliberation is entertain'd, which adviseth them to decline the Battle, and to make a Retreat, till they were re-enforced. This Resolution taken from the present suspition, was not more dishonourable than dan­gerous: it gave confidence to their Enemies, and de­jected their own Party, willing rather to try their hands than their heels, where the peril seem'd indifferent: But the Reasons given in excuse were grave and weighty. The Earl of Lancaster had sent Sir Thomas Holland to raise his Northern Friends and Tenants; who was mar­ching up strongly and well provided; so that if they could have adjourned the Battle off to his arrival, it would have made the Terms more hopeful, if not equal. It is in the Rule of War esteem'd a weakness to affront an Enemy for a set Battle, with too great disproportion in number; but to recoyl without a marvelous, discreet, and orderly proceeding, is no more than laying the dis­heartned Troops to a present slaughter; the Experi­ment whereof was here apparent. The Lords rise, but ill, and in disorder, more like a Flight than a discreet Re­tiring. Valence Earl of Pembrooke, that did command in chief under the King, sees this Confusion, and straight lays hold of such a fair advantage. He chargeth hotly on the Reer, which straight was routed; the Barons make a head, but are forsaken; which makes them flie to seek their proper safeguard: The Barons beaten, fly to Pontfrect.With much ado they get to Pontefret, whither the broken Troops at length re­pair for succour. Holland intrusted, performs the work he went for, and marcht with speed, hoping to give a Rescue; but when he saw that their Affairs were despe­rate, [Page 71] rate, he thinks it his best play to change his Master, and leads his Troops to get the Kings Protection. As it de­serv'd, it gains a gracious welcome. Thus all things tend to their Confusion; one mischief seldom comes, but many thunder. The despairing Barons finding them­selves hotly pursu'd, repair to Council, where many ways are mov'd, and none embraced, save that same fa­tal one which wrought their Ruine. They leap, like Fishes, from the Pan that scorcht them, into the raging Flames that soon consum'd them. The Castle of Don­stanborough was believed a strength tenable, until their Friends do raise a second Army, or they at worst might treat some fair Conditions: they march to gain this hold, but are prevented. Sir Andrew Harcklaye meets them at Borough-briggs, and guards the Passage; Here­ford and Clifford seek to force it, and like inraged Lions here act Wonders: twice had their angry Swords made the way open, but fresh Supplies opprest them still with number, till wearied, not o'ercome, they yield to For­tune, and by a glorious Death preserve their Honour. When these brave Arches fell, the Building totter'd; though Mowbray made a while a brave resistance, till his Heroick Bloud, not Valour, fail'd him. The surprizal of Lancaster, and many other noble Knights and Barons, perfects this Overthrow, and ends these Civil Tumults.

The Prey thus seiz'd, the Spencers long to taste it; and, like to furious Tygers, act their Passions: They give not their incensed Master time to deliberate on that Work which was so weighty, which had the Lives of such great Peers in balance. They whet on, and ex­asperate the Kings Revenge, that needs no instigation. Soon is the Work resolv'd, where deep Revenge hath master'd humane Judgment, and Reason doth subscribe to private Malice.

Valens' Speech in favour of the Lords. Valence, a stout and noble Gentleman, hating such a barbarous Cruelty, seeks to divert it, and mildly thus intreats the Royal favour.

[Page 72]

To win a Battle (Sir) it is glory; to use it well, a far more glorious Blessing. In heat of Blood to kill, may taste of Valour, which yet on cooler terms may touch of Murder. Laws were not made to catch offences, but to judge them; which are dispens'd with where the cause is weighty, else none may live where many are delinquent.

Celestial Powers have blest you with a Conquest, and do expect to see how you will use it. For your own Goodness sake, make known your Vertue; be like to him that gave you this great Blessing, and then your Mercy will exceed your Justice. The savage beasts, but kill, to kill their hunger; and will you act in blood to please your fancy? The Hea­vens forbid the Royal Heart should harbour a thought that justly may be deemed cruel. Your Sword victorious is im­brew'd with Honour, let it not ravage where is no resistance: to spill where you may save, obscures your Glory; to save where you may spill, proclaims your Goodness. I'll not excuse their faults, or plead their merits, which both are lesser far than is your Mercy; let not such branches so un­timely wither, which may in time be your defence and shel­ter. Kings are but men, that have their fates attend them, which measure out to them, what they to others. Blood is a crying Sin that cries for vengeance, which follows swiftly those that vainly shed it. Black Apparitions, fearful Dreams, affright them whose guilty Souls are stain'd with deeds of darkness. Oh let your purer thoughts be unpol­luted, that they may live to shew your Grace and Vertue, and After-ages speak your worth in Glory.

The King had scarce the patience to hear out the Conclusion of a Theme so contrarious to his resolution and humour; yet weighing the Integrity and well-de­serving of the man that spake it, to justifie himself, and to give him satisfaction, with an angry brow he makes this sudden Answer. The Kings Reply. Valence, but that I know you truely love me, your words do touch too near your Soveraigns Honour. Shall I, seduced by a female pity, compassion those [Page 73] that do attempt my ruine? such actions may be goodness, no discretion: how many times have I declin'd my Power, to win them home by mercy, not by justice? what hath my mildness won but flat Rebellion, which had it took, where then had been their virtue? Say I should spare their Lives and give them freedom, each slight occasion colours new eruption, and I may then too late repent my kindness. When my poor Gaveston was tane, where was their mercy? They made their Arms their Law, their Swords their Justice. He had no guilt of Treason or Rebellion, his great­est fault was this, his Soveraign lov'd him; and shall I spare those that for my sake wrought his ruine? No, blood must have blood, their own Law be their Tryal; let justice take her course, Ile not oppose it. The deeds of Charity must so be acted, that he that gives be not abus'd by giving. Who saves a Viper that attempts to sting him, if after stung deserves nor help nor pity. What could they more have done than they have acted, unless to kill the King they so much hated; and shall I pardon these sought my destructi­on, and make them fit to act a new Rebellion? If it be vir­tue, 'tis a poor discretion. No, I will make them sure, that their example may others teach the just reward of Treason. Dead men do neither bark nor bite the Living.’

Instantly he flings away, and to the general grief of the whole Army signeth a dispatch for present execution, without so much as the exception of any one particular of all the great ones whom this last conflict had thrown at his mercy. Lancaster beheaded, and 22 more. Lancaster is beheaded at Pontefret, and two and twenty others, of noble blood and great emi­nency, in other places of the Kingdom; so that there was scarce a City of any note, but was guilty of this bloody Massacre. So many excellent lives, so ingloriously lost, had been able to have commanded a victorious Army while it had triumpht in some forrain conquest. Thomas of Lancaster, a man good and virtuous, though unfortu­nate, kept faithfully the death-bed promise he made [Page 74] his father Lincoln; but erring in the time and manner, he tasted his prediction. The King, that was before so apparently guilty of many puny vices, by this act loseth all their memory, and dyes himself in grain with the true colour of a cruel Tyrant. The reaking blood of so many brave subjects so untimely spilt, had a quick and bitter reckoning, to the final destruction of him and all the Actors. In the operations of so great a weight, though the colour of justice seem a Warranty, yet mercy should have preceded rigour, since they were not all alike guilty. In point of extremity, it is more safe and Ho­norable to do less than we may, rather than all we may; the one makes known our goodness, the other the cruelty of our nature, which with a loathed fear thrusts a zealous and true love out of possession in the hearts of those that behold and observe our actions. Had these Lords been of a disposition equally cruel, Spencer had not liv'd to triumph in their misery, nor they to taste his malice; for it is clear, when they had him at their mercy, that they sought not blood, but re­formation; and assuredly in this their last act, which was rather defensive than otherwaies, their intentions to­wards the Crown were innocent. In all respects (saving the levy of their Arms, which was done onely to support it with more Honour) as things fell out afterwards, it had been happy for the King if he had lost this Battel, and they had prevailed; for winning it was the be­ginning of all his ensuing misery, of which the fun­damental cause (as appeareth in the sequel) original­ly sprung; that this bridle being taken away, he fell to those dissolute actions, and injurious kind of op­pression, that his Government became hateful, and his Name odious; which wrought in time the general revolt of the whole Kingdom. Fear, and the su­spition of the following danger, kept both him and his familiars in a better temper: for though they were fully as vicious, yet they were less confident, and more [Page 75] reserved; which, this barricado taken off, finds neither bound nor limit.

Good Policy to maintain a divided Faction in Court and Councel.Certainly, in the Regiment of a Kingdom, it is a dis­creet and wise consideration in Court and Councel to maintain a divided faction, yea, and interchangeably so to countenance them, that the one may be still a fit Coun­terpoise to the other. The King by this means shall be served with more sincerity and diligence, and inform­ed with more truth and plainness. Where one particu­lar man or faction is alone exalted and onely trusted, his words, be they never so erronious, finde seldom contradiction, and his unjust actions pass unquestion'd; all men under him seeking to rise by him, sing the same tune; the Flock ever bleats after the voice of the Bell-weather; which stands with a politick wisdome, since in opposition they purchase but disgrace and ruine. By these means the Royal ear is abused, and the Minions acts are more daring and insolent, who cares ever more how to conceal cleanly, than to be sparing in doing the acti­ons of injustice; by this the judgment of the King is impaired, the Honour of the Crown abused, the Com­mon-wealth suffers daily more and more, which by de­grees aliens and estrangeth the heart of the subject. The greater the heighth is, the stronger is the working to pre­serve it, which for the most part is attended with those same State-actions of impiety and injustice; hence spring murmur and hatred, exasperated by a continuing Oppressi­on which ends for the most part in a desperate conclusion. Though the fury of this victorious King had so fully act­ed his Tragedy, yet the Mortimers were spared; but it was rather out of forgetfulness than pity, whose deaths had been more available than all those which in so great haste had tasted his fury. Some think that the Queens inter­cession got the respite of their execution, mainly follow­ed by Spencer, who in that act irreconciliably lost her fa­vour; by the subsequent effect it seems probable enough; but howsoever it was wrought, it appears he was re­served [Page 76] to be one of the fatal executioners of the divine justice, which taught his persecutor that same antient Roman Law of Talionis, and gave his unfortunate Master so sad a cause of a just Repentance. The King­dom after these bloody Hurly-burlies and strong Con­vulsions, begins now to be a little setled, onely it was fill'd with grief and expectation where these aims would end that ran on with such violence. The principal Pillars of the common good being taken away, and those that remain'd being frighted and disheartned, gave such a li­berty to the now great Officers, that the whole interest of the State was believed little better than the fruits of an absolute Conquest. All men suffer basely, yet no man dares oppose or question't. The King secur'd, ap­proves his Spencers actions, and makes the Regal Power the Servants warrant: Hence springs the insolency of unjust oppressions, and those unlawful ways to drain the subject, which leave no means might fill the Royal Coffers. The grieved Kingdom languisht with these bur­dens; the great Ones suffer basely, courting his vices, which like a tree oregrown, of immense greatness, sha­dow'd their growth, and did suppress their merit. They fawn upon the time, and view each other as Ships salute at Sea, whose Voyage differs; they were become strangers to themselves and to their fellows, which stop the passage to so just a quarrel. The private end was now the thing in fashion, the publique was forsa­ken as a monster. The Commons, whose home-bred looks are the true Index of all that dwells within, and honest plainness, do more than murmure out these op­pressions. They gape to catch the turning tide, and would have moved, but find no one would give them heart or leading. Oft do they make attempts, but yet discreetly, to try if they could finde a staff to lean to; but 'twas in vain, the Law was such a terrour, that he that stirs and sticks was sure of drowning. Now do the Learned Sages see their errour, that hung themselves [Page 77] in Chains so great and many, making a Lime-twig for each several feather; now do they blame those Laws themselves enacted, not like a Watch, but as a Paper-Army, to keep the good still in the worst condition; as if the multiplicity had been the glory, where Laws are made to catch, not ease the subject. If that great volume of the Law draw forth his engines, what subject can untoucht escape his rigour?

Spencer, that knew himself thus hated, and that the general cry proclaim'd his baseness, sinks not his height, nor would go less a farding; but makes his mischief like himself, still foul, but greater; with reason yet suspects and fears the sequel. His Mistris sate on thorns, which made her startle; he knows the Wheel would turn, almost with touching. This calls his Wits toge­ther, and puts them on the rack for a Confession, what was the way might best assure this danger. Spencer's Policy.The King's weak humour, naturally wanton, he makes more vi­cious, and apparent guilty, hoping to make him alike hateful, that in the Change they both might run one fortune. A pretty Policy, that makes it lawful to wound his Master, that thereby he may scape the hand of justice, or at the least may make the hazard equal! The King he knew was too indulgent, but not tender, or of a heart enough to work the safety of his Servants, as he observ'd in the Case of his Predecessor Gaveston, and his own late experience. To give him a more re­al engagement, and pin himself fast by necessity, he egges him on to all those actions that were more than most odious in practise, and hateful in the eye of the subject; feeding him in the mean time with a vain be­lief that the Kingdom was generally ill-affected, and sought his deposition; which there was no better way to repress, than by holding them short, and making seve­rity rather than paternal love the Hand-maid of his Scepter. In all the actions of State, whatsoever carried a fair gloss, or prov'd well, he takes it upon his proper [Page 78] care and diligence; if the success were ill, or not pros­perous, it must be esteemed either the will, weak ad­vice, or fortune of his Master; in all complaints that spake unjust oppression, he seemed to share the grief, but made the cause the Kings, not his which must obey him; he guilds his proper actions o're with shews of kindness, fullying the Royal with his grossest errours, who sat and slept, or winkt at these disorders. This was the substance of his first conceptions; but yet this was too weak to make a ground-work on which he might rely his false proceedings. Time daily chang'd, and new occurrents happen might win another faction to pursue him; for to prevent this fear, he fetcht a Com­pass, and leaves the beaten way of blood and malice; such of the great ones as were yet remaining, and out of reason might be most suspected, or did but cross his way, by private practice he sends to feed the Worms and kiss their Mother, who knew not her own Chil­dren so transformed. When that the Blossomes dropt away (the Gardens glory) the season being sweet, and mildly pleasant, all men admir'd, but quickly knew the reason; some unkind hand had tainted that which fed them. This was too much, but yet he wades in deep­er. His Brain is subtle, cunning, wary; an active stir­ring Wit, a quick invention, an heart grown proud in mischief, full of falshood, that dwelt within a conscience knew no bounder; from these he hammers out another project that works upon the King as well as subject. This hath two forms, though of a different temper, yet both resembl'd nearly in dependance. The first must keep the Crown in fear, the Kingdom busied with for­raign danger or domestick trouble; The second holds it still in want, the Coffers empty, to keep the subject poor as they supply it; security in one might keep him care­less, and peace with plenty make the other wanton. From these, being marshal'd with a sound discretion, he thinks the way was easie to assure his greatness; within [Page 79] his brest alone was lockt the secrets of the prime Plots of State and waighty business; the Councellors, that were but meerly Cyphers, knew but the strains of slight and vulgar motions; he sat alone at Helm, and steer'd the Compass, which fancies in his thoughts a vain impulsion; he must be still employ'd, or all would ruine; if in the agitations of the King or Kingdom puzzl'd with motions of the present danger, he could assure each party from these Harpyes, it needs must adde much to his faith and wisdome, and make his station far more strong and sure; the resty mindes that kick at present greatness, may then turn Craven, and approve his judg­ment: he that conceits he could command the Pla­nets, doubts not to make such trifles light and easie. His principles thus laid, he falls to action; with a loose scorn he continues the French correspondence, slighting their Treaties and desire of Friendship; the Marriage of a Sister was not powerful to set things right betwixt these Warlike Nations; there was no open War, but private grudges, which made the State uncertain, robb'd the Merchant; heart-burning on all sides, while both strain courtesie who should begin to set the balance even. The Scots that were not sure, but yet were quiet, he irritates afresh for new combustions; but this was done with such a neat conveyance, that all men see the Smoke, yet feel no Fire. And to the Lords at home that stood spectators, he pares off from his greatness some few chippings, and gives them here and there to feed their longings; that they might thus be still, if not con­tented, he gives away his female Kindred for new Friendship, and makes the Portion great, though no­thing yet in Title; which turn'd the world backward in appearance, while January and June were dancing Trenchmore. Those fixed stars that mov'd not with this Comet, but kept aloof, and did preserve their distance, these he contemns and scorns with such proud usage, that they may seek his grace, or seem [Page 80] to threaten some jealous danger to his fearful Ma­ster.

Great Impositions daily are divulged, and some im­posed are not fully levied, to make the Commons fear, not feel their ruine. No circumstance is left, that but induced, to make the Soveraign fear, the subject hate him. The King, whose Arms ne'er thriv'd but in the conflict which winning lost his Honour, caused his downfal, was in the memory of his former unfortunate proceedings sufficiently aw'd; and being now given over to the sen­suality of his delights, entertains quickly the least ap­prehension of fear, if his supervisor did present it so that this part of his work was no great difficulty; and the second was not more uneasie. The Royal Treasure is profusely spent without Accompt or Honour, being but the fountain that served to water the drought of him­self, his herd of hungry Kindred, and the swarm of Flesh-flies that became his creatures. The antient Plate is without the art of Arithmetick multiplied into a world of little pieces; the Jewels of the Crown do leap beyond the Sea, and are ta'n Prisoners till they pay their ran­some; the Revenue Royal being now grown weary, by Proclamation would exchange his Landlord; the Pre­rogative, the type of Soveraignty, forgets his Patron, and cleaves to the fingers of some musty Farmor. This want was great in shew, but more in substance; which made the Surgeon seek to gain a plaister: the Poverty of these Institutions answer not the Work-mans expectation, for the Remedy began to seem as fearful as the Disease; These profuse prodigalities, in stead of a counterfeit, brought in such a real necessity of such a height, that without a speedy supply it must beget a desperate ha­zard. Many several projections are made, but they fall wholly short, and like Pistols charg'd with Powder, make a noise, but hit not that they aim at; the hope was dead, unless the old and right way Parliamental did give it life and spirit. Spencer knew well enough that such [Page 81] Assemblies was like a Ringworm on the neck of greatness; a Court that in the bulk of high Corruption would breed a Palsie, or a Hectick Feaver; the subject here he knew would see his inside, which single durst not quinch, much less encounter. He doubts the King would hard­ly be supply'd, unless he were expos'd to try their mer­cy; yet there's no other means, he must adventure. This thus resolv'd, he leaves it not at random, or doth resign his state alone to Fortune, but wisely makes the way before he run it. With a reserved secrecy he hides the Platform, till that his practice might receive per­fection. He hurries forth strange news of forraign dan­gers, to draw the peoples eyes from private workings; he makes a shew as if all things went currant, and sha­dows o're the Royal wants with plenty, yet closely wills his friends and those his creatures to get them place betimes in this great Meeting. All such as were the Kings entirely, these he instructeth with the self-same Counsel, and courts all such as he believes are Pow­erful to advance his ends, or else procure him danger; and to let all the world know he stood right in his Masters affections, he gets his Father, himself, and Sir Andrew Harclay, a Chip of the same Block, made Earls of Winchester, Bristow, and Carlile; Baldock a mean man altogether unworthy, unless it were for being a disciple of so virtuous a Patron, is made Lord Chancellour of England. The solemnity of this goodly Creation ended, and the Plot now ripe for execution.

A Parlia­ment called.The bruit of a Parliament flies through the Kingdom, and is follow'd at the heels with Writs for present Ele­ction. The time limited for appearance was short, which speedily drew this great Body together, bleeding with the fresh memory of the loss of so many of his brave and glorious Members. All Ceremonies are laid aside, or handled briefly, so that the time now serves to fall upon the business. Their pulses being felt aloof off, and their temper tryed, there was a full discovery [Page 82] that the major part was sure, the rest were heartless. Then comes the King's Demand, with fair pretences, which pleads the greatness of his charge and present uses; and shews he had on the strength of his Revenue maintain'd the Scotish Wars without assistance, which had exhausted so the Royal Treasure, that now He is enforc'd to try his Subjects. This motion is soon se­conded by such apt Scholars as learnt to get the King's or Spencer's favour; others that had a hope to share the booty, speak it great reason to assist their Sovereign. The Commons justly grieved with their Oppressions, would fain have made a head to stop this current; but 'twas in vain, here was too weak a Party, and wants a heart to put it to a tryal; They give the King the sixth Peny.this swayed the King the sixth peny of the Temporalty, and ends this Meeting. When the knowledge of this Grant came into the Country, it bred a general Murmur, and quite estrang'd their loves from their subjection, cursing those times that caused so sad a burden. Prodigious Sights.Upon the neck of this (if we may give credit to those Historians, that all agree and publish this relation) were many fearful and pro­digious Sights, which maz'd the people; amongst which this one was most remarkable; the Sun for six hours space shew'd himself in perfect Blood, and sanguin'd over. The ensuing times that retain'd it in their Me­mory, and applied it as a Prediction of the sequel, be­liev'd it did foreshew the King's destruction, which followed swiftly; others conceit it as a Wonder shew'd from Heaven, as a sure Token of the just Displeasure for the loss of the Noble Earl of Lancaster and his Ad­herents, whose Blood implored Justice and sharp Vengeance. Thus in amazement Man becomes a Pro­phet.

The Scotch invade the English Bor­ders and Ireland.The Scots, that love not rest, delight in prigging; and considering the Distractions of the English, thought it a fit time to fall to action, and with a double blow to vent their malice; one strikes upon the Borders, which [Page 83] they boldly enter, but are repuls'd with little loss or damage; Are repulst.the other doth invade their Neighbour-Irish, where they receive with grief a worser welcome. Their Ge­neral slain. Bruce, the Kings Brother, General of this Army, and all his Troops, are killed and broken; scarce one was left to carry back the News of this Disaster. The King, resenting this new provocation, and all the former mischiefs they had wrought him, resolves once more to tempt his froward Fortune; but 'twas not his own Valour, Spencer mov'd it, that had his aim beyond his Master's meaning; he knew this was the way to waste that Treasure, which else might breed a fearless fulness: if it succeeded well, the gain and honour would be his share, as well as his that won it, since his advice had father'd first the action: admit it should prove ill, he then was guiltless, it must be deem'd alone his Sove­raign's Fortune, whose Destiny was such to be still luckless; however yet, 't would keep him so in action, he might at all times yield the groaning Subjects a short account how he had spent their Money. Upon this, a Summons is sent out to call together all the Captains and Men of war; Provisions are dayly made to wait upon so constantly a resolved Journey: The former Misfortune had taught him to undertake this action strong and soundly; the black Ox had trod upon his foot, that well he knew the danger. The King's intentions known, brings him together all the remaining bravery of the Kingdom; they knew that there was Money store to pay the Souldier, which gives him life to fight, and seek occasion. The cream of all this strength must guard his Person, the other fill the Rere, and make the Vantguard; The King invades Scotland.with these he marcheth for­ward and invadeth Scotland, making that Nation justly fear the sequel. But whether it were the Infidelity of those about him, the Will of him that is the Guide of Battles, or the proper destiny of this unfortunate King, this great Preparation produced no effect answerable to [Page 84] the general expectation; he is enforc'd to retire with­out doing any one act worthy his Memory, or the greatness of such an Expedition. The Scotch seize the K. Treasure.The wary Scots, that had kept themselves in their Strengths and places of Ad­vantage, seeing the Storm almost past, follow aloof off, and in a watch'd opportunity set upon the tail of his Army, surprizing all his Stuff and Treasure. This loss sends him home to entertain a defensive War, which came from the Coast he least expected; whether just­ly, or to transfer the guilt of his own unhappiness upon the treachery or falshood of another. Earl of Car­lile Execu­ted.The new-made Earl of Carlile is accused, condemned, and put to a shame­ful execution. The grounds against him were probable, not certain; howsoever, he was believed to have at­tempted, like Judas, the sale of his Master, which must be taken a sole motive of the inglorious retreat of this so brave an Army. The principal reason that may lead us to the opinion that he was guilty, may be taken from the solemnity of his Tryal, and the severity of the Sen­tence, which upon so grave and full a hearing depriv'd him both of Life and Honour in a ceremonious way, whereof till this there appears no former president. His old friend Spencer, whose ends he had faithfully served, left him at plunge, being as it seems well content now he had (as he thought) rooted his own greatness, to be free of his Ambition, which he fear'd might rather supplant than support it. A common course of such as rise by their own or other mens corruption; they love a while their props, but after fear them; when with some Dog-trick they pick some fain'd occasion, private or pub­lick, for to send them packing. If you survey it well, it stands with reason: for such as to serve their ends would act in baseness, in the least change may do so for another that in appearance must succeed his fortune: besides, where the reward seems shorter than the me­rit, fills one with grief, the other with suspition; which two can never long hold correspondence; and Kings [Page 85] themselves that do abet the Treason, do seldome love, but always fear the Traytour. But now old quarrels sleep, here comes a new one that usher'd on the way to Edwards ruine.

The French King Lewis being dead, John next suc­ceeds him; a Prince youthful and hot, full ripe for action. He privately informed of the ill usage of his Sister, and that the King was wholly led by his proud Minion, whose actions witness'd he was ill-affected to hold firm Peace but with his own conditions, thinks it fit time to break the League which had so weak assu­rance. The French King breaks his Peace with En­gland.On this he makes an attempt upon the Frontiers of Guien, and sends a solemn Message he would no more continue Peace with England. Edward, that had not yet digested his Scotish Pills, was much displeased to hear so curst a Declaration from a Brother. Spencer, the spring that gave this difference motion, did little dream it would be his destruction; he wisht these Prin­ces might fall out and quarrel, but yet not so, that it should come to action. He deem'd it not amiss his So­veraign Master should hear of War from France, but not to feel it. The French were of another minde; they saw us beaten, and discontent within our selves, full of confusion; which gave them hope the time would fitly serve them to reunite this Piece to her first Honour. Thus Kings play fast and loose with their advantage; affinity and Oaths are weak restrictions; where Profit holds the Plough, Ambition drives it.

Edward piercing narrowly into the danger, taxeth bitterly the infidelity of his Brother, and begins to ex­amine his own condition, whereby he might accordingly order his affairs, either to entertain the War, or embrace Peace, the hopes whereof were not yet desperate. He findes himself in the affections of his own fear'd and hated; his Coffers emptied by the Scotish surprizal, and the sinews of his late Parliamentary supplying shrunk in his Provision and prodigality; a second supply, unless [Page 86] conditional, was doubtful; the Kingdom was grown too wise, to be again anticipated in election: and lastly, he calls to minde the severity of that misfortune that waited so his Military actions, that the subjects were diffident of success where he was either General, or a party. In this distraction, while he remains irresolute, he seeks the advice of his Cabinet Councel, the Closet of his secrets; he thinks him alone worthy to communicate the depth of his misery, and to give the resolution. The King adviseth with Spen­cer. Spencer, that had his underhand aims, out of a virtuous modesty appears not till he is call'd; Spencer's Answer.which succeeding as he knew out of course and necessity it must, pleads his own disability in an affair so great and weighty, desi­ring his Majesty that his Father and the Chancellour might be admitted into this deliberation, whose maturity of years and ripeness in knowledg might be rely'd on with more assurance. The reason of this reply, in shew full of wisdom and care, had a Plot with two faces, like the old description of Janus; the one lookt upon his father and faithful Friend, whom by this means he thought to advance in credit; the other was more to countenance his own particular, which had a part to play, that must be (as he thought) his Master-piece. No word of his sounds harshly, nor sound contradiction in his Sove­raigns ear, who made his tongue a guide to lead his actions; they are freely admited, and fall to consultation, where the condition of the present affairs is fully open'd, and sundry propositions made to reconcile them: but these all prove defective in some material point or other, that according to the pack, Spencer might hit the nail on the head, and by their applause make his project more solid and authentical.

Ever since the breach that hapned between him and the Queen concerning Mortimer, there had been a strong heart-burning, and many distastful expressions of the ill inclination she bare him. He knew her to be a Woman of a strong Brain, and stout Stomack, apt on all occa­sions [Page 87] to trip up his heels, if once she found him reeling; and was not without some discreet suspicion, that she was as well contriving inward practice, as she had been closely forward in the instigation of her Brother. To make her sure, and to pare her nails before she scratcht him, he thinks occasion had presented him with a fit opportunity, which he intended not to loose without a tryal; from which ground he thus expresseth his con­ceptions.

He adviseth the Queen be sent to France.
Things standing as they do (Royal Sir) there is but one way left to right them; but how that way may like you, that I know not. You are not fit for War, if you consider your proper weakness, bare of Strength or Money: to seek not sue for Peace, is no dishonour, but shews a pious Will to perfect Goodness. A Servants care, I not deny, may work it; but this will ask Instruction, Time and Leasure, which your condition cannot fitly limit. Such Treaties, for the most part, so are settled; but 'tis with long dispute, and many windings, by which we must grow worse, and they still stronger. If they once finde that we pursue it hotly, they'll raise their height to win their own conditions, which may be far unfit your state and greatness. I know you love the Queen too much to spare her, and I am loath to touch the string should cause it: But since great Works are fittest for great Actors, I wish to her alone this brave employment: her Wisdome and her Love so well united, will work (I doubt not) Peace as you desire; so fair a Pleader cannot be denied in that request, which chiefly made her Wedlock. And since I am all yours, vouchsafe your Pardon, if I in reason discourse it farther: Admit that he deny, her journey sort not, you still are where you were, with some advantage: If he refuse your Love, you may his Sister, which is then with him, where he so may keep her till things are reconcil'd, and quarrels ended. Reason of State must master your Affections, which in this act will tell you, 'tis unfitting she should be here, that may [Page 88] inform her Brother from time to time of all your secret Counsels. Say that your Love and her Obedience tye her, and keep the Scale still even, 'tis a hazard which wise men dare not trust in female weakness: admitting that her Goodness do assure it, this cannot warrant yet her silent Servants, who may be sent with her perhaps of purpose, or after brib'd to sift and shew your workings. Councels are seldome so reserv'd, but that they glimmer some little light that leads to their intentions; which if they fly to those they touch unacted, finde swift prevention, ere their worth be valued. These things consider'd, I do speak it freely, 'tis fit the Queen alone should undertake it; which lessens well the charge of your great Houshold, and brings you Peace, or makes you else a Freeman from those do­mestick Cares that shake your quiet.

This Act ended, Baldocke the Chorus, who equally ha­ted the Queen, seconds it with a learned approbation; and the old Roost-cock in his Country-language, which was the only tongue he was guilty of, tells the King briefly, he should be sure of Peace at home or abroad. The King with an attentive ear hears this relation, and could not but believe his Spencer spake it; nor did he dote so much upon his Wedlock, but he could be con­tented well to spare her, whose eyes did look too far into his Pleasures. But yet his wandring Soul had strange impressions, which struck him deeply with a sad prediction, and made him faintly yield, but yet de­lay it.

This Overture being come to the Queens ear, and withal the knowledge how this Gipsie had mar­shall'd his cunning practice, and had prescrib'd the way for her escape, which she herself intended, and in her private thoughts had laboured with the best powers of her understanding; She offers to go.she seem'd wondrously well-pleas'd, and offers to undertake, and to assure the business. Their several ends, far wide of one another, do kindly [Page 89] meet and knit in the first Prologue; where Craft en­counters Cunning, it sometimes happens one and the self-same Hood doth fit the head-piece of divers Actors, diversly affected; hence it proceeds the Plot's more surely acted, when each side doth believe his proper issue: There is not such a Cut-throat for a Coz'ner, as that which in his own trade doth cross-bite him: The Bee gets Honey where the Spider Poyson; and that may kill Physicians, cures their Patients. Such are the qualities of Statesmens actions, that labour to contrive anothers mischief, and in their own way finde their own destruction. Love and Jealousie, that equally possest the Queen, being intermixed with a stronger desire of Re­venge, spurs her on to hasten on this Journey. She saw the King a stranger to her bed, and revelling in the wanton embraces of his stoln pleasures, without a glance on her deserving Beauty. This contempt had begot a like change in her, though in a more modest nature, her youthful Affections wanting a fit subject to work on, and being debarr'd of that warmth that should have still preserv'd their temper, she had cast her wandering eye upon the gallant Mortimer, She casts a wandering eye on Mor­timer. a piece of masculine Bravery without exception; had those his inward Gifts been like his outside, he had not been behinde-hand in reception, but with a Courtly, brave respect, full meets her Glances. A silent Rhetorick, sparkling Love, findes quick admittance; such private trading needs few words or brokage: Mortimer in the Tower.but his last Act had mew'd him in the Tower, where he was fast from sight of his great Mistriss Love, that makes some men fools, makes others wary: Had Mortimer's designe been known, his head had paid for't; which Spencer's ma­lice long and strongly aim'd at, but that the Queen had begg'd a solemn respite, which Edward would not break at his intreaty. The Cage of his restraint was strong, and guarded; yet 'twas too weak to cloyster his Ambition, which did suspect, but never fear'd his [Page 90] Freedome; which he attempts, but yet was not so sure, that he durst trust it. In the mean time, with a sweet Correspondencie, and the interchange of many amo­rous Letters, their hearts are brought together, and their several intents perfectly known; hers, to prosecute her Journey; his, to purchase his Freedome, and to wait upon her, or else to loose his Life if it miscarry. It was a strange Adventure in the Queen, in this inqui­sitive and dangerous time, to hazard her Honour under the fidelity of a Messenger; but she was well belov'd, paid liberally, and was not more careful in her election, than wary in the employment; which makes things difficult in themselves, prove facile and easie. No soo­ner had she knowledg of the Plot for his escape, but by all her best means she confirms and strengthens it, and in the mean time advances her own affairs by all ways possible: She courts her Adversary with all the shews of perfect reconcilement. But new delays interpose; the King had certainly some inward motive that pre­sag'd his ruine, and that this Wife of his must be the Actor; which brought him slowly on to set her for­ward. Spencer, that by his own could judge her Cun­ning, suspects her plea of haste and sudden kindness, and now begins to grow a little colder, till he had better sounded her intentions; which by his Spies he could not so discover, but that she seem'd as pure and clear as Crystal.

The King will not consent to her going.Yet Edward would not give consent she should be a gadding; time past away; she labours hard, but fruit­less, till at length she found she was abused. Guien must be rather lost, than she should wander. Her heart so strongly fix'd upon this Journey, was torn as much with anger as with sorrow: Reason at length o're­came her Sexes weakness, and bids her rather cure, than vent her Passion. The opportunity thus snatch'd from her hopes, she seems well pleased, and glad to stay at home; no inward motion seem'd to appear, that [Page 91] might beget suspicion. Spencer, that was as cunning as a Serpent, findes here a female Wit that went be­yond him, one that with his own Weapons wounds his Wisdome, and taught him not to trust a Womans Lip-salve, when that he knew her breast was fill'd with rancour. Pretending a Journey of Devo­tion,When the nap of this Project was fallen off, and Spencer with the King were seeking for some other bush to stop this gap, her judgment was so fortunate as to pretend a Journey of Devotion to St Thomas of Canterbury; which by her jealous Overseers (being a Work of Piety) is wholly unsuspected. All things prepared, by a faithful Messenger she gives her beloved Servant Mortimer knowledge of the time, and her in­tention. Then, with the Prince her Son and Comfort, that must be made the Stale of this great action, she fearless ventures on this holy Journey. The King was well content that she should be absent, and pray to whom she would within the Kingdom; Her jealous eyes so watchful, had enforc'd him to take by stealth, what now he gets in freedom. Spencer is not displea­sed, but well contented, that wisht she would remain an absent Pilgrim. A short time bringing her to the Shrine of her pretensions, she makes as short a stay, but hasteth forward. Mortimer inform'd the Plot was now in action, puts on his practice for a present tryal. Some say that with a Sleeping-drink he charm'd his Keepers; I rather think it Drink that made them sleepy: Whatever 'twas, by this he stole his Freedom, and slylie scapes away unseen, untaken. At the Sea-side he findes his Royal Mistriss and the young Prince prepar'd to go a Ship-board; the Earl of Cane and Bishop of Hereford ready to attend them; and he now comes, to make the Consort perfect. She em­barques for France with Mortimer.All things succeeding thus fortunately, they loose no time, but embarque, and weigh their Anchor. Winchelsey had the honour of their last farewel, that did provide them shipping. Their Sails hoist up, the Heavens they finde propitious, [Page 92] the blustering winds were quiet, and Neptune bears them without a rugged brow of angry billows; a pleasing fore­right Gale (as kept of purpose) fills up their Sails, and brings them safe to Bulloigne. Thus did our Pilgrims scape the pride and malice of him which little dream'd of this Adventure: his Craft and Care, that taught him all those lessons of Cunning Greatness, here fell appa­rent short of all Discretion, to be thus over-reach'd by one weak Woman. For her Escape, it skill'd not, nor could hurt him: it was the rising Son with cause he fea­red; which who would have trusted with a Mother, justly mov'd by their disorder? Where now were all his Spies, his fawning Agents that fed his ear with every little motion that did but crack within the Kingdom? Now it Thunder'd, they were asleep, as was their Mini­on-Master, else he would sure have seen, and soon pre­vented so lame a Project, that pac'd afoot so long a walk, so softly. But when the glorious power of Hea­ven is pleased to punish Man for his transgression, he takes away the sense and proper power by which he should foresee and stop his danger.

The King sad at the News.This news flies swiftly to the King, who entertains it with a sad heart, as justly it deserved. The Spencers, with the Crue of their dependants, are nettl'd with a tale that starts their greatness; they think the Plot was surely laid, that took so rightly; and in the makers Wit, condemn their Judgment, that led them by the hand to what they acted. Mortimer, whom Spencer deadly hated, was well ally'd, and strong in Friends and Kindred; he had a Cause in hand would win assistance, when that a Queen and an heir apparent back'd it. But now 'twas past prevention; 'tis a vertue to make the best of that we cannot fly from.

Edward, whose yielding heart at first misgave him, grows sadly dull, and seems to read his Fortune; his melancholy thoughts have no impressions but such as were engrav'd within his conscience. To take him off, [Page 93] Spencer contemns the danger, extenuating their best hopes, which were but fixed upon the French, a nation light and inconstant, whom Money would take off, if Force should fail him: Spencer en­courageth him.he tells him he had cause to smile, not mourn, that was so freed of such a Chamber-mischief, that was more to be fear'd at home, than with her Brother. Lastly, he prays him to be like himself, a Monarch, that well might bend, and yet not yield to Fortune; 'twas now high time to order so his business, that there might be no farther fear of danger. Baldock the Chancellour sets to a helping hand to revive his Spi­rits, which seemed so much dejected; and briefly thus discours'd his better judgment.

Sir, If you now should droop, or shew a faintness, when your occasions do expect your Valour, your subjects will be­lieve you know more danger than they or see or fear; which must be followed with a dull coldness over the whole King­dom; which what it may enforce, you may consider. 'Tis easie to o'recome a weak resistance, which yielding, fears the stroke before 'tis coming; but nobler hearts are ever most triumphant, when they are round beset with greatest perils. Alas, what can the Queen a wandring Woman compass, that hath nor Arms, nor Means, nor Men, nor Money? Think you her Brother will so back her passion, as to expose himself to such a hazard? France knows our Arms too well, too much, to tempt them, or come with­in our distance in our dwellings: admit he should, what can he do to England, which hath a wooden wall will wet his courage? Lewis, that had made him a sure Party within the Kingdom long before he landed, when civil tumults had embroil'd our Forces, found here so sharp and hotly curst a welcome, as left your Predecessor soon his first possession: he came in his own right, and yet forsook it; can you then fear they'll venture for another, or ha­zard War that look for no advantage? Put case they do, have you your Forces ready, you need not fear the French [Page 94] or any other: but you must then by your own sprightful car­riage give life and courage to the Valiant Souldier, that fights your Quarrel, and his proper Honour; like to a careful Steward, still provided to give the new-come Guest a hand­some Welcome. And, if I erre not, 'tis not much impro­per you let the Kingdom know the Queens departure, how far it swerves from duty, love, or reason. Dangers that be far off, may be prevented, with time, advice, and with a better leasure; yet 'tis discretion to catch the foretop of a growing evil: look to your Ports: your Navie well provi­ded, no forraign Force can wrong your Peace or Quiet. For those within-door that may breed suspition, the ways are easie to secure their moving. Yet all this is too little, if you stagger, or with a drowzie coldness seem disheartned: 'tis life and action gives your People metal. For Gods sake then (great Sir) leave off this Passion, which wrongs your Greatness, and doth maze your servants, that see no cause but meerly your Opinion.

This Speech thus ended, the King forceth himself a­gainst his disposition, and cloaths his cheeks with smiles, his brow with gladness: with a more freedom he dis­courseth plainly the present state of his entangled busi­ness: The Queen is tainted. The Ports are stopt,a Declaration is sent out to all the Kingdom, that taints the Honour of the Queen, but more his Judge­ment. The Ports are all stopt up, that none should fol­low: a Medicine much too late; a help improper, to shut the Stable-door, the Steed being stoln: but 'tis the nature of a bought Experience, to come a day too late, the Market ended. the Navie sent out, and Watch and Ward every where.The Navie is sent out to guard the Frontier, and Watch and Ward is kept throughout the Kingdom. These and many other grave Instructions are recommended to the Spencers wisdom, whom it concern'd as deeply as their welfare: they think not fit to trust the Care to others, but do become themselves the Supervisors; which for a time of force enforc'd their absence; in which short intermiss, the King relapseth to [Page 95] his former errour, which gave him many sad and deep impressions: he thinks the breach of Wedlock a foul trespass; but to contemn her he so much had wronged, deserv'd as much as they could lay upon him: But he was guilty in a higher nature; he had upheld his Para­sites to brave her with too too fond a base presumptu­ous daring: he fear'd his cruel actions, stain'd with bloud, would chalenge a quick and sad requital, equal vengeance: he saw the Subjects full of grief and passi­on, apt and desirous to embrace Rebellion; and few or none declar'd themselves to aid him, unless 'twere such as stirr'd by meer compulsion, or private interest of their own safety. Such dull conceits did so ingross his fan­cie, that he almost despair'd of his own fortune. His Minions, now return'd from their employment, had much ado to level these deep reckonings, which lay so heavie on his guilty Conscience: yet at the length he gain'd his wonted temper, and acteth o'er afresh his for­mer Errours.

The customary habit of transgression is like a Corn that doth infest his owner; though it be par'd and cut, yet it reneweth, unless the Core be rooted out that feeds his tumour. The guilty Conscience feels some inward motions, which flashing lightly, shave the hair of Mischief; the scalp being naked, yet the roots re­maining, they soon grow up again, and hide their bald­ness: the operations of the soul of true Repentance, grubs up the very depth of such vile Monsters, and leaves alone the scars of their abuses.

The Queen entertain'd in France with seem­ing glad­ness.The French King having notice of his Sister's arrival, entertains it with a wondrous plausible and seeming shew of gladness. After she had well refresh'd her self and her little Son, (as yet a stranger to the riding of so long a journey upon a wooden horse) with an Hono­rable attendance, befitting more her Estate, Birth and Dignity, than the present miserable condition she was in, she is waited on to Paris: all the great ones and [Page 96] Bravery of that Kingdom are sent to give her welcome, and to bring her to the King's presence. When she be­held the Sanctuary of her hopes, her dearest Refuge, she falls upon her knee, and with a sweetly-becoming mo­destie, she thus begins her Story. Her Royal Brother unwilling to suffer such an Idolatry from her, that had a Father, Brother, Husband, so great and glorious, takes her up in his arms, when thus she speaks her sorrow.

The Queens Address.
Behold in me (dear Sir) your most unhappie Sister, the true picture of a dejected Greatness, that bears the grief of a despised Wedlock, which makes me flie to you for help and succour. I have, with a sufferance beyond the belief of my Sex, outrun a world of tryals: time lessens not, but addes to my afflictions; my burthen is grown greater than my patience: yet 'tis not I alone unjustly suffer; my tears speak those of a distressed Kingdom, which, long time glorious, now is almost ruin'd. My blushing cheek may give a silent knowledge, I too much love and honour the cause of my af­flictions, to express it. Yet this in modestie I may disco­ver; my Royal Husband is too much abused; his will, his ear, his heart is too too open to those which make his er­rours their advantage: the hope of his return is lost; he still must wander, while such bewitching Syrens are his leaders. But why do I include them as a number? 'tis onely one; the rest are but his creatures. How many of his brave and nobler Subjects have sold their lives to pur­chase him his Freedom? All expectation fails; domestick Quarrels have ta'en away their lives, that strove to help it: unless you please your Arms shall disinchant him, he still must be abused, his Kingdom grieved. I had not else thus stoln to crave your favour. Made to your hand, you have a way is glorious, to let the world behold and know your vertue; Fortune presents you with a just occasion to crown your Glory with an equal Goodness: would you dispute it, can there be a motive more weighty, than to succour these poor Ruines which else must lose their portions, being Birth­right? [Page 97] See here, and view but with a just compassion, two Royal Plants depress'd, and like to wither, both Bran­ches of the Flower-de-luce, the Root you sprang from; which, but in you, have neither hope nor comfort. Would your impartial wisdom but consider how good a work it is to help distresses, a wronged Sister cannot be forsaken, and an Heir of such a Crown be left unpitied. In such an act of Goodness and of Justice, both heaven and earth will witness your true Valour, and your poor Handmaid joy in such a Brother. Let it not breed suspicion, that I seek you with such a weak, forsaken, poor attendance: I was en­forc'd to steal away at randome, and durst not by my num­ber be distrusted, by those with Argus eyes observ'd my actions. Though I am here, and those behinde that love me, besides the Justice of my Cause, the strongest motive, I bring the hearts of a distressed Kingdom, that, if you set me right, will fight my Quarrel: their Truth needs no sus­pect; you have for Warrant their Queen and Mistris, with their King that must be. Then, gracious Sir, extend your Royal vertue. I challenge by that purer Bloud, assistance, whereof my Birth-right gives me equal portion: let not suc­ceeding Ages in your Story read such a taint, that you for­sook a Sister, a Sister justly griev'd, that sought your Suc­cour.

Her willing tongue would fain have moved farther; but here the fountain of her eyes poured forth their treasure; a showre of Chrystal tears enforc'd her silence; which kinde of Rhetorick won a Noble pitie: the Pas­sions of the minde being sweetly mov'd, the heart grows great, and seems to sympathize their agitations; which produceth a ready willingness, that calls to acti­on the foot, the hand, the eye, the tongue, the body, till that the Engines slack that cause this vigour; and then they all revert to their first temper. The King and his Peers mo­ved at her discourse.The Queens dis­course and tears so far prevail'd, the King and all his Peers are deeply moved; their longing hearts beat [Page 98] strongly for expression, which might assure her, they embrac'd her quarrel, and with their Lives would ven­ture soon a tryal: Her Brother bids her cast her cares to his Protection, which would make Edward know and feel his errours; his greater Subjects offer her their Service, and vow to be Companions of her fortune. The general voice of France proclaim'd a fury strain'd to the height, to punish her Oppressors. This overture for a while is so hotly pursued, that she (poor Queen) with an abused confidence believ'd things as they see­med in shew, true, perfect, real. 'Tis not alone her errour, but a disease all flesh and blood embraceth; with ease we credit what we wish and hope for: yet where so great a Consequence waits on the action, there is just cause to fear and doubt the sequel. Though that our aims be just, discreet, and hopeful, yet if they be confined to certain hazard, or do reflect upon the private danger; of that same second hand that is enga­ged, reason in justice strengthens the suspicion. To right the Queen, and to restore her Heir; to ease the Subject, punish the Oppressor; all these are works thus far seem good and easie: but these, not Will, but Pow­er and Strength must compass, against a potent King in his own Kingdom; which if it fell out well, return'd with honour; if ill; endanger'd France with an Invasi­on, which might perhaps prove fatal and unhappie. Wise men are mov'd in Passion, not in Judgment, which sifts the depth and core of such great actions, weighing the danger and advantage, with the hazard and depen­dance; which if they turn the Scale, or make them e­ven, takes off the edge of their propense affections, which Cause asswag'd the heat of this employment.

Spencer eyes the French, Spencer, whose watchful eye was fixt on Paris, by his Perspectives sees the glorious welcome that waits upon the Queen and her attendants; he hears no other News, but what provisions were made in France to serve for War in England: but fears them not.he is not frighted, or a whit distem­pered; [Page 99] he knew the French were giddy, light, incon­stant, apter for Civil Broyls than Forraign Triumphs; beginning more than Men, but in conclusion weaker and more uncertain far than Women: he taxeth yet his own improvidence, that gave the angry Queen so fair advantage; 'twas not the Power of France he feared, nor all their threatnings, but the intestine danger, which seemed fearful: He knew the Subjects hearts were quite estranged, which did expecting long for some Combustion: severity of Laws had kept them un­der; 'twas not in duty, but by meer compulsion, which backt by Forraign aid, and such brave Leaders, would break their Chains upon the least Alarum.

To take off France, he straight select his Agents, such as well knew the ways of these employments, and lades them o'er with Gold, and sound Instructions; He bribes­ding them freely bribe, and promise mountains, till they had undermin'd and cross'd the Queens proceedings: he bids them charily observe the quality of time, and place, and person, proportioning their Rates with such discre­tion, that those which most could hurt were deepest la­den. These Pinaces of State thus fraighted, arrive at Paris, where the heat was almost cool'd before their coming; yet they go on to make the business surer: they set upon the Pillars of the State, and feel their Pul­ses; who wrought like Wax against the glorious Sun­shine of brighter Angels, which came showring down­wards, and struck them dumb and deaf for opposition: Gold in an instant chang'd the Council's temper, and conquer'd without blowes their valiant anger. The Queens distressed tears are now forgotten; they gave impressions, these a real feeling: words are but wind, but here's a solid substance, that pierc'd not the ear, but hearts of her assistants.

The Plot full-ripe, to make it yet more perfect, they set upon the King, and shew the danger. To force by Sea a passage into England, was a designe as truely weak [Page 100] as hopeless, where wants a Navie, and the full provisi­on might give a sure Retreat, or certain Landing. To cope at home with such a potent Kingdom, requir'd an Army full of strength, and mighty, which must be still supply'd with Men and Money; which not ready here in such abundance, a Womans passion was too weak a motive to levie Arms alone on that occasion, which brings no other gains but meerly Honour. The English Nation were not so affected unto their Mistris Quarrel, as to venture legal revenge, or else intestine rapine; which they must hazard, if they loose, or vanquish. Lastly, a bare relation of a female passion enforc'd the Cause; which whether true or false, was yet in question; the Plaintiff had been heard, but no Defendant. These were the Reasons which are daily tender'd to take the French King off from his intentions; which lov'd to talk of War, but not to act it. A small perswasion quickly fills his stomack, that could not well digest a War with England. Young Kings that want Expe­rience, have not Judgment to touch the marrow of their proper business, and sound the depths of Coun­cels: For Advisers may be abused, and bought and sold to mischief, while Servants raise their gain from their dishonour. This being so frequent, 'tis a Royal Virtue, that hears, and sees, but gives no resolution in things of weight, till he have reconciled his own with judgment to the Councils reasons: if that it be above his reach that is in question, let him not so rely up­on the great ones, that their words prove a Law, which have their workings, that aim more at their ends, than his advancement. As Kings have Councellors of State to ease their Burden, so should they have a second help to guard their Honour; a lesser body of selected good ones, whose wisdomes privately inform him rightly of what in goodness is most fit his judgment. State-actions fill the Purse, but foul the Conscience; and Policy may bloom the Profit, blights the Honour, [Page 101] which Kings should keep as tender as their Eyesight.

Though thus the squares that fed her hopes were al­tered, the Queen is still led on with promis'd Succours, which at the upshot meet with new excuses. She see­ing these delays, and vain protractions, begins to doubt and fear there was some juggling; yet bears it strongly with a noble Patience, shewing no Discontent or least Suspicion; hoping at worst that here in safety she and her Son might anchor out their troubles. The Posts that daily fly 'twixt France and England, had liberally inform'd the state of French Occurrents. Spencer in­form'd the gap was stopt on that side, provides to quiet all at home if he could work it: he sets upon the dis­contented Barons, that hated him, and envied more his Fortunes: he courts their favour, and imparts Promoti­ons that might betray them, more with shew than profit: he makes the Gentry proud, by giving Titles that feed ambitious mindes, but not content them; and takes off from the People light Oppressions, but keeps afoot the greatest Grievance, that kept them down from hope to shake his Greatness. All sides do entertain it with a seeming gladness, though well they knew it was enfor­ced kindness.

While each part thus dissembles their intentions, the Navie was call'd home; a Charge was useless, where was no fear might cause a forraign danger: the Ports were open'd, and the Watch surceased that day and night at­tended on the Frontier. This haste, as 'twas too sud­den, wants assurance: the rising Son was absent, and still lookt for, while the declining dipt his cheeks in darkness. To ease this care, the Queen is strongly tem­pted by such as seem'd her friends, but were his Agents, to reconcile her self unto her Husband, whom hence­forth she might rule as she thought fitting. When this fell short, she is at least intreated to send back her young Son, the Kingdoms comfort; which took it ill he should be made a Stranger, or in the power of a forraign Na­tion. [Page 102] These sweet enchantments move no whit her yielding, that too well knew the Serpent that begat them; her Son sent back, they had the prey they lookt for, and she must lack the prop must keep her up­right.

This Project failing, they fall upon a new one. King Ed­ward com­plains to the Pope.The King frames a Letter to his Holiness, full of humi­lity and fair obedience, yet craving help, and bitterly complaining that Isabel his Wife had fled his Kingdom, pretending a meer Voyage of Devotion, and had stoln away his Son, his only comfort, attended by a Crue of trayterous Rebels, that strove to break the Peace of Christian Princes; amongst which one being tane in actual Treason, had escap'd his Prison by a lewd In­chantment, whom he had cause to fear abus'd his Wed­lock. Lastly, the French King, his Alley and Brother, received and kept them, being often summon'd to desist and leave them. The Pack of this complaint so well contrived, was not opposed by the French King's Council, who could be well content, that by com­mandment, their importuning Guests were fairly quit­ted; Necessity would colour actions of unkindness, if Houshold-Laws were broke, or those of Nature. This Letter runs from hence to Paris, from thence to Rome, by that same practick Agent, that in this Interlude had won the Garland; he bears a Picklock with him, that must open the gates that were fast shut to guard the Conclave: his first Arrival finds a fair reception: Where Money makes the Mart, the Market's easie. These goodly gloses guilded o're with shadows, must win belief where there was none to answer: Had they been just and true, the fact was odious, and might in Justice challenge reformation; it was enough that here it is believed so, the Fact was fully proved, the Reason smother'd. The Cardinals, that freely felt the English Bounty, perswade the Pope it was both just and pious, so great a Misdemeanour should be que­stion'd, [Page 103] that gave the Christian word so lewd Example. The Pope admonishes the French King to quit the Queen.On this flies out a present Admonition to the French King, that straight he free his Kingdome of this his Sister-Queen and her Adherents, on pain of disobe­dience, Interdiction.

She is en­ticed to re­turn into England.While this Device was moulding, out of England the Queen receives a large, but secret Summons, that all her friends were ready to attend her with all things fitting on her first arrival: more than the plagues of Egypt did oppress them, which they nor could nor would endure longer: they bid her hasten her return; though her provision were not enough, their Swords should fight her Quarrel. She with a joyful heart receives this of­fer, which like a precious Balm, clos'd up the wounds of her sad thoughts, made dull with her suspicion. She tells the French King.More to advance this weighty work declining, she tells the King the tenour of this tender. His clouded brow, the character of Passion, discover'd soon the signes of al­teration, which yet seem'd more of Pitie than of Anger: He shews her the Popes Sen­tence.he had but then read his Italian Summons, which he plucks forth, and casts his drooping Sister, bidding her view, and wisely there consider, what danger he was in by her protection. The amazed Queen, when she be­held the Sentence, in stead of help, would rob her of her refuge, she falls upon her knee imploring pitie, if not to give her Aid, to right her Honour, which was e­clipsed with so foul a Slander. A showre of mellow tears, as milde as April's, thrill down her lovely cheeks, made red with anger: dearly she begs at least but so much respite until his Holiness might be informed, her innocence was such sought no favour, but that the Law should give upon full hearing. She doth implore him that he would compare her adversaries malice with his cunning, who not contented with her deep oppression, sought to betray at once her Hope and Honour, wrought with such art, and such a close conveyance, that here her Judgement had outrun her Tryal.

[Page 104] He nothing sorry for so fair a warrant that took him off from charge and future hazard, and yet withal would cover such Unkindness, seems to lament the cause, and his condition, that of necessity must yeeld obedi­ence: he could not for her sake at one blow hazard the danger of himself and his whole Kingdom. Perswades her to Peace.Not to forsake her wholly, he perswades her to entertain a Peace; the King her Husband should yeeld to her Con­ditions: he'll effect it, that had a power to force it in his denyal; which he would venture, if the World gainsaid it. Let him (quoth he) then use you ill, or not receive you, I'll make him know I can and will revenge it: small time is left you to consider or dispute it; advise with speed, and let me know your answer.

She relates it to the Bi­shop, Cane, and Morti­mer.The amazed Queen abandoned and forsaken, relates at full this far unlookt-for passage unto the Bishop, Cane, and Mortimer: their valiant hearts make good their Mi­stris sorrows, and tell her they would set her right with­out the French-men; Who advise her not to return.bidding her not consent to her re­turning, though it were soder'd up with showers of kindness: she well enough did know her Husbands hu­mour, which would observe no Vow, no Oath, no Pro­mise: if Spencer once more seiz'd her in his clutches, she should be surely mew'd, and kept from Gadding. Mortimer storms. Mor­timer contains not in this strain his Passion, but breaks into the bitterness of Anger, taxing the French as base, unkinde, persidious, that knew not what belong'd to love, or valour. The Queen moderates.The Queen, that knew the danger, mildly calms him, letting him truely understand his weakness, that in such provocation might beget surpri­sal, when they must be sent back without prevention. Though that her heart were fir'd, and swoln with anger, she temporizeth so, 'twas undiscovered: a whispering murmur, mutter'd from the Courtiers, says, that she should be sent with speed for England: she feigns to make provision for her Journey, yet unresolved which way to scape, or whither; yet with this preparation she [Page 105] beguil'd the French that had cozen'd her; for they had bargain'd to see her safe at home, and re-deliver'd. Be­ing thus irresolute, of means, of friends, of succour unprovided; the Master failing, she attempts the Ser­vants, who sing their Masters tune by rote verbatim; they cannot give her single help or comfort. Declining misery that once is sinking, findes it self shunn'd like some infectious Fever, and goes alone in shades and si­lent darkness. Fortune's bright Sun-shine walks with more professors, than her resplendence hath or beams or streamers; but if her glory sink, or be eclipsed, they shun her fall, as children do a Serpent: and yet such tryals guide not wretched Man's election. Affection, (that forsakes in choice the Judgement) is led alone by form, and not by substance; which doth betray with ease where it is trusted: if Vertue guide the chooser, the begin­ning is mutual goodness, which still ends in glory. The very height and depth of all Affliction cannot corrupt the worth of such a Friendship, that loves the Man more than it loves his Fortunes. The raging Storms and Winds may blow and batter, yet still this goodly Rock makes good his Station. The correspondencie of firm Affecti­ons is purely innocent, sincerely grounded: if Private ends or Worldly aims o'er-weigh them, they then are but a meer Commerce and Traffick, which hold no lon­ger than the Bargain is driving. Where Truth appa­rently doth warrant Love and Friendship, it lives and dies, but never changeth Colour. But to proceed: the Queen in this Distraction findes, past her hope, an unex­pected Comfort; this Heaven can do, when flesh and bloud's at weakest. Robert of Artois. Robert of Arthois, a man both wise and valiant, that loved Goodness for her own sake, not for fashion, at her first coming tender'd her his Service: he was a well-resolved steady States-man, not led by Complement, or feign'd professions: he had been ab­sent during all this passage; returning, hears and pities her Condition, blaming her Nations falshood, and her [Page 106] misfortune, which he resolves to help out with his best Counsel: he seeks and findes the Queen, whom, sadly musing, he interrupts, and thus revives her spirits.

His Speech.
Great Queen, It is the more excellent part of Wisdome, with an equal Vertue to entertain the different kindes of Fortune; this Peregrination of ours is a meer composition of Troubles, which seem greater or less, as is the quality of that heart that bears them: I must confess, you have too great a portion, the Justice of your Grief doth truely speak it; but Tears and Sorrow are not means to right them. Just Heaven doth graciously behold and pity those that do with an active Hope implore it, and work as well as pray, the deeds of Goodness: your tender Sex, and former great Condition, have been a stranger to these bitter tryals; a little time will make them more familiar, and then you will confess your Passions errour. They soonest perish yield to their Afflictions, and see no journeys end that tire with burden. For your own Vertues sake, resume your spirits; your Sorrows are not such as you believe them. Behold in me, your true and faithful Servant, a resolution fixt to run your fortune; you may no longer hazard your abode or being in this unworthy and unthank-ful Climate, paved o're and closely made to your destruction. Wherefore if my advice may sway your judgment, let speed and care prevent so sure and great a danger. Near to this place the Empire hath his Confines, where many Princes are may yield you Succour; at worst, you there may finde a sure Pro­tection, which in your Native Soil is more than doubtful. I will not yet presume to teach your judgment, that can much better sway your own Condition: Only I lay before you truly my Conceptions, which have no other aim than for your Safety. Your Wisdome may direct your best advantage, which I will second with my Life and Fortunes.

Which in­finitely joys the Queen.Infinitely was the Queen joy'd with his Relation, which weighing the quality of the man that spake it, [Page 107] seem'd justly worth embracing: She findes it was sin­cere, not light or verbal, which makes it self a partner of her Sorrows; she doubles many Thanks, and gentle Proffers of true requital, which her Son performed when he himself was forced to leave his Country. Straight she provides to follow his directions, and with a wary and secret carriage, settles her self for her in­tended Journey; yet still gives out she meant to go for England, whither she sends a Post to treat Conditions, with Letters smoothly writ in all submission; and court­ing Spencer with a world of kindness, she lets him know that she relyed solely upon his Love to be the Mediator. Unto her Royal Brother she discourseth, that now she understood the Peace was finisht, which made her first a stranger to her Husband, who now would hasten home to make it perfect. And to the Council, which well she knew were bribed to send her back perforce, if she de­ny'd it, she more and more extols and praiseth Spencer, as if 'twere he alone had wrought her Welfare. The English thus abus'd, the French deluded, both are secure; she was providing homewards, which made the one re­miss, the other careless; else she, forestall'd, had found her Project harder. In this her course she sees but small appearance, and few such Hopes as might induce Assu­rance; yet she resolves to hazard all, and wander, ra­ther than to return thus unprovided. Could she in rea­son look for any Assistance from Strangers, when her Brother had denyed it? or could she think the Germans would be faithful, when her own Birthright had for gain betray'd her? Alas, she could not; yet enforc'd, must venture that in her Hopes, could finde no other Refuge. Necessity, the Law of laws, makes Cowards valiant, and him content that hath no Choice to guide him; which from the Barren'st ground expects some Harvest, that else in danger would despair and perish. All things prepar'd, and her Attendants ready, she takes a solemn Leave, and thanks her Brother, assuring him she nothing [Page 108] more desired, than that she might but live to quite his Kindness. His Answer, like his Gifts, was short and lit­tle. And thus she leaves the Court, in shew contented: with a sad heart, a watry eye, a passion highly inflam'd, she journeys forward till she came nearer where the Bounders parted. The limits of ingrateful France she then forsaking, gives them this parting Blow, to ease her Sorrow.

Her Farewel to France.
Farewel (quoth she) farewel, thou glorious Climate, where I first saw the World, and first did hate it; thou gavest me Birth, and yet denyest me Being; and Royal Kinred, but no Friends were real. Would I had never sought thy Help or Succour, I might have still believ'd thee kinde, not cruel: but thou to me art like a graceless mother, that suckles not, but basely sells her children. Alas! what have I done, or how offended, thou shouldst deny my life her native Harbour? Was't not enough for thee in my Distres­ses to yeeld no Comfort, but thou must Expel me, and, which was worse, Betray me to my Ruine? The poorest soul that claims in thee a dwelling, is far more happie than thy Royal Issue: but time will come thou wilt repent this Errour, if thou remember this my just Prediction; my Off-spring will revenge a Mothers Quarrel, a Mothers Quarrel just and fit for Vengeance. Then shalt thou seek and sue, yet finde more favour from him thy Foe, than I could win, a Sister.

With this she weeping ends, and paceth forward, the Wheel of Fortune turning: Grief grown greater, few real Friends attend it, false forsake it: Infidelity, the Plague of Greatness, is commonly at full, when Hope doth lessen; and strives to make the Tide of Sorrow greater. The Bishop of Exeter forsakes the Queen. Stapleton, Bishop of Exeter, who till now had faithfully follow'd the Queens party, and made himself a sharer of her action, with an unnoble president doth now forsake her, seeing the French hopes vanish'd, and those remaining hopeless; exami­ning [Page 109] the grounds of her adventure, almost as short in hope as in assurance, he slily steals away to his old Master, which wins him Grace, but lost his Life and Honour. Some think him from the first not sound or real, but a meer stalking-horse for Spencer's Cunning: but this hath no congruity with Reason. The Queens departure unknown and unsuspected, in which he was a prime and private Actor, had he at first been false, had been prevented, at least the Prince's; which had marr'd the project. Neither can I believe so mean or basely of that same Reverend Honour of his Calling, that it would be a Conduit-pipe to feed the stomack of such a tainted, foul, polluted Cistern. By this Treachery the resolutions of the Queen are fully dis­cover'd; the Landskip of her Travels soon survey'd, begets a more ontempt than fear of danger. The coldness of the French King being understood, their flat denial yet contents not Spencer, who did expect his bargain for his Money: Had he had but the Prince, they had dealt fairly, while he was be­ing in their proper power. But they, to justifie themselves, profess it freely the Queen had gone be­yond them with their Cunning; They thought she had been homeward bound, as she divulged. Thus Wo­mens Wit sometimes can cozen Statesmen. Now are the German Natures sifted, and their Motions, who fight but ill for words, and worse for nothing. Their Constitutions dull and slow, were fitter to guard a Fort, than to invade a Kingdom. The Queen was bare of Money, void of Credit; which might beget them Valour, her assistance. These were conceptions pleas'd our Minions fancy.

Time, that at length outstrips the longest journey, hath brought our English Pilgrims into Henault. Is bravely welcomed by the Earl.The Earl, a man was truely good and noble, resolv'd so Royal Guests deserv'd as brave a Welcome, estee­ming it a Vertue fit his greatness, to be the Patron [Page 110] of Majestick Ruines: He had a Brother youthful, strong, and valiant, one that lov'd Arms, and made them his profession; His Brother pities the Queen,this man observ'd the Queen, and sees her sorrow, which deeply sunk, and mov'd a swift Compassion: when he beheld a Misery so great and glorious, a structure of such worth, so fair and love­ly, forsaken, unfrequented, and unfurnisht, by the curst hand of an unworthy Landlord, he vows with­in himself to help repair it: He tells her, he pitied her Misfortune; his heart as well as eye did bear him witness: and promi­ses his Ser­vice.He promis'd her his Service and Assistance, which he would both engage in this her quarrel; and seems right glad of such a fair occasion to shew his Valour in so brave a Quarrel.

So fair a Morning made the Evening hopeful: By those sweet looks of her distressed Beauty, and the best language of so rich a Pleader, she doth confirm his well-disposed Affection, whose willing offer seem'd more than Courtship. He makes preparation.The gallant Henaulder engag'd, makes preparation to set upon this glorious Work, this great Employment. Pity, that strains the Nerves of vertuous Passions, moves faster far, when that which gives it motion doth relish Beauty, Justice, Goodness. The Tongue that harshly pleads his own compassion, is for the most part entertain'd with like respondence; when humble Sweetness, cloath'd in truth and plainness, invites the ear to hear, the heart to pity. Who by a crooked fortune is forced to try and to implore the help of Strangers, must file his words to such a win­ning Smoothness, that they betray not him that hears or speaks them; yet must they not be varnisht o're with Falshood, or painted with the terms of Art or Rhetorick; this bait may catch some Gudgeons, but hardly him that hath a solid Judgment. 'Tis more im­proper where we sue for favour, to russle boysterously, or grumbling murmur some unsavoury Prayers; which seems to threaten rather a kinde of force, than hope [Page 111] of pity: So begging Souldiers fright a Country-Far­mer.

The Earl condemns his haste.The Earl being a man well broken in the affairs of State, having a knowledge of this his Brothers reso­lution, thinks it tasted more of Heat than sound Discre­tion; he condemns his haste, and blames his promise; and sending for him, with a grave, yet mild discourse, doth thus present the danger:

To undertake a War, is far more weighty, than hand to hand to fight a single Combat; the one needs many strengths, the other skill and valour. Who thinks with his own arm to gain a Conquest, may sell his Life, and yet not purchase Honour. I pity, as you do, this Royal Lady, and would assist her too, if I were able; but to attempt where is no hope to vanquish, makes Foes of Friends, and Friends far more unhappy. France has refus'd, a strong and warlike Nation; that King, a Bro­ther, wisely waves the quarrel; he knows the English Strength, and so digests it, that he'll not undertake a War so hopeless. Think you your self more prudent, strong, or able, than is the Power and Strength of France united? Or can you dream the English may be conquered by a few forward Youths that long for action? Do not mistake the work of your Adventure, which is too sad and great for greater Princes. I do commend your forward Valour, noble Pity; it shewes a vertuous Zeal and Will to Good­ness: but measure well the act ere you begin it; your Valour else must have a lame Repentance. Where is the Sinew of the War that must maintain it? Nor she nor you have Arms, or Means, or Money; and sure Words will not conquer such a Kingdom. Yet if you will be fixt, on God's Name venture, I'll help you what I can: I'll be no Party. True Valour dwells not with an overdaring, but lives with those that fight by just discretion, where there is Hope at least, if not Advantage. Could you but credit the beginning, that in reason the world might think [Page 112] it had a touch of Judgment, I must confess I should ap­prove your Valour; but you can only countenance your first motion with confidence beyond the Moon or Planets: Then leave betimes, before you be engaged, which after must much more impair your Honour. We'll both assist her with our Purse and Forces, yet do it so, the quarrel seem not ours.

Sir John with a quiet and attentive patience hears out his Brother, knowing his admonitions sprung from an honest Heart and grave Experience, yet thinks rob'd by Age of youthful Vigour; from which belief he draws this sudden Answer.

His Answer.
Sir, If all the world forsake this Noble Lady, my single arm alone shall fight her quarrel; I have engag'd my Faith, and will preserve it, or leave my Bones within the Bed of Honour: No After-age shall taint me with such baseness, I gave a Queen my Vows, and after broke them. Such presidents as these we seldom meet with, nor should they be so slenderly regarded. The Mother and her Son, the Heir apparent of such a Kingdom, plead in Justice Pity; Nor shall She basely be by me forsaken. Reasons of State I know, not your own Nature, do take you off from such a glorious Action, which your own Vertue tells you is full of Goodness. Then sit you still, cry ayme: I'll do the bu­siness. Inglorious France may shame in his refusal; nor will I follow such a strain of baseness. Although no Sister, 'tis a Queen that seeks it; a Queen that justly me­rits Love and Pity. I have some Followers, Means, and some Friends and State to stick too; I'll pawn them all ere she shall be forsaken. I know I can in safety bring her thither, and she hath there her Friends will bid her wel­come. That King hath lost his Subjects hearts, grown sore with grievance; his Minions hatred will be our advantage: Admit the worst, her expectations fail her, we then can make retreat without dishonour. But [Page 113] Edward then may chance revenge the quarrel; we have those pawns will make our own Conditions; the King in the remainder being ours, they'll buy our Peace, and not incense our Anger. I'll not deny, 'tis good to weigh the hazard; but he that fears each danger, shall do nothing, since every humane Action hath Suspicion. I am resolv'd your Love shall still command me; yet give me leave to be mine own elector. I canot blaunch this act which I am tyed to, without the taint of shame and foul dishonour, which I will rather dye than once consent to, although your self and all the world perswade me.

These words spoken so full home, with such a brave resolution, stopt all reply, and farther contradiction. The Queen jealous of Treachery.The Queen, who had already a French and an Italian trick, was jealous lest she here should taste a Flemish one. The Earl's Speech had given her a doubtful be­lief that he had been tamper'd withal, seeing his first temper so much cooled: She knew well enough, if Money could prevail, it would be tender'd freely; and she must then be bought and sold to mischief. Many of her Domestick Spies were here attending, as she well knew and saw, to work her ruine. Spencer's A­gents fru­strated. Spencer 'tis true had sent his Agents hither with like Instructions, and their Bills of lading; but here they finde their pains and labour fruitless. The Earl was himself, not led by Counsel; and had a heart of steel against corruption, though he was loath to back alone this quarrel; which did proceed from Want, not Will to help her: yet he ab­horr'd the very thought of selling his Fame and Honour by so foul Injustice. Yet those that had the charge were not so hopeless, but that a little time might hap to work it: As all Courts have, his had a kinde of people, and these were great ones too, that boldly warrant and undertake to undermine their Master; which dayly fed them more and more with Money, while they give only words in­stead of payment. The Briber trades but on poor ad­vantage, [Page 114] that buys but Hope, and that at best uncertain; which often fails, although 'tis dearly purchas'd: And reason good, since this may be a Maxime; Corrupted mindes, that to do the actions of Injustice will preju­dice the Soul and Conscience, by the contracting of a wicked enterprise for gain or lucre, will never refuse, in hope of a greater advantage, to sell themselves to a second mischief.

The Queens doubts in­creasing, she importunes the hastning her jour­ney:But now the Queens doubts increasing, and her long­ing grown to the height of her expectation, she is en­forced with more importunity to hasten on the advance­ment of her Journey: she makes her winning looks (the handmaids of her Hopes) express their best ability, more to enflame the heart of her Protector. But with­out need.But alas! these motives need not; ambition of Glory, the natural operations of Pitie, and the honest care of his engage­ment, had made him so truely hers, and careful of this designe, that he leaves no means or opportunity unat­tempted, that might set it forward. Already had he gotten together Three hundred well-resolved Gallants, that vow to live and dye in this fair Quarrel. Here was the body of this preparation, the pillar that this Enterprize must stick to. Confidence is certainly, in the actions of this nature, a singular Vertue, and can work Wonders; else we cannot but believe this little Army scarce strong enough to conquer such a Kingdom. The Queens hopes must in reason have been very desperate, if her Domestick expectation had not been greater than her forreign Levy: But more could not be had, without some doubt, more hazard, and a lon­ger protraction; and these are believed sufficient to try their fortune, if not to master it. They stay not therefore to attend the gaining of a multitude, which might at their arrival rather beget suspicion, than win assistance. If the intelligence kept touch, they were sure of Men enough, and they had Leaders.

Spencer's purloyning Brokers seeing the flood coming, [Page 115] which yet would, as they thought, at best prove but a Neap-tide, since they fail'd in the deepest Mystery of their employment (for here was room for no corrupti­on) resolve yet not to make their labour altogether fruitless, but to give their great Master a true touch of their willingness and ability; the remainder of that Money which fell short in the Master-piece, they em­ploy to gain a true and full understanding of the height and quality of this Army, and principally to what part it was directed. Gold, that makes all things easie, fails not in this his forcible Operation; which brings unto them the informati [...]n of the Men, Arms, and number, with the quality o [...] the Navy that was to waft them, and the very Haven intended for their place of landing. Though, the Circumstances duely consider'd, the bulk of this Enterprize was in it self contemptible enough; yet to improve their own diligence, they extenuate and lessen it in their advertisement; they send away a forerunning Post, to anticipate the doubt, and forestal the danger. But now all provisions are ready, and attend the moving of these hopeful Ad­venturers. The Queen with a lively look, the Pre­sager of her future fortune, takes a solemn leave of her kinde Host with many hearty thanks, which must stand for payment till she had recover'd the ability to free the reckoning; which after she as truely perfor­med, by matching the King her Son to a Daughter of the House of Heinault.

The Queen embarques at Dort.At Dordrecht the Prince and She with their Retinue are led a shipboard, whence they depart and steer their Course for Dongport-haven, which was the place resolv'd on for their Landing; that part being held the fittest and the readiest to give them succour. The Hea­ven, that favour'd their designe, was more propitious, and from their present Fear procures their Safety. Spencer being largely inform'd of their intentions, had made a sound provision, to give them a hotter welcome [Page 116] than they could withstand or look for, had their di­rections held as they had meant them. Scarce had they run the Mornings-Watch, the Skies grew cloudy, a fullen darkness spread all o're the Welkin; the blu­stering Winds break loose with hollow roaring, and angry Neptune makes his Level Mountains: The warry Element had no Green-sickness, but curled banks of snow that sparkle fury. These Callenders at once as­sail the Vessel, whose Lading was the Hope and Glory of a Kingdom; the wooden House doth like a Mew triumphing, bestride the angry Billow; and as a Horse well-mannag'd, doth [...]eat his Corvet bravely, with­out the hazard of his careful Rider.

She is frigh­ted at Sea.The Queen, that knew no Flouds, no Tempests, but those which sprung from Sighs and Tears of Passi­on, grows deeply frighted, and amaz'd with danger: The little Prince, that ne're had felt such motions as made him deadly sick without disorder, takes it un­kindly, and with sick tears laments the hansel of his first profession to be a Souldier. All are confus'd; the Mariners dejected, do speak their tears in language seem'd to conjure. Three days together tost and tum­bled, they float it out in hope without assurance; in all which time the poor distressed Vessel durst neither wear a Band, or bear a Bonnet. The violence at length being somewhat swaged, and the bright Sun appearing, smiling sweetly, they finde themselves in view of Land, but where they knew not, nor thought it fit by landing to discover. While thus irresolute they rest debating, a second doubt enforc'd their reso­lution; their Victual was too short to feed their num­ber till they could tack about for some new Harbour; a fault without excuse in such employments; this made them venture forth at Harwich to try their fortune: She lands at Harwich.Unshipping of their Men, their Arms, their Luggage, was long in action, and with much disorder; three days are spent in this, while they are forced to make [Page 117] the naked Sands their strength and bulwark. This made great Spencer's errour most apparent; the least resistance here, or shew, or larum, had sent them back to Sea, or else surpriz'd them; a little strength at Sea had stopt their passage, or made them lawful prize by such a purchase: But After-wits can help precedent Errours, if they may be undone, and then new acted. Yet to excuse this oversight, in shew so wretchless, 'twas his Intelligence, not Judgment fail'd him: know­ing the weakness, he esteem'd his vantage in suffering them to land secure and certain: He would not blaunch the Deer, the Toyl so near, which he was confident would give possession of those he had so long pursued and sought for. To raise a Guard to wait upon each quarter, if it were Wisdome, might be no Discretion, as his affairs then stood; such motions promis'd rather a Guard to bid them welcome, than resist them: as it would cause a fear, so 'twas a Summons to such as were resolv'd to back their Party: He made that place alone secure, where he expected, and they themselves re­solv'd to make their landing; the rest he leaves at ran­dom, and to Fortune, rather than make things worse by more Commotion.

But now this weather-beaten Troop march'd boldly forward, finding as yet few friends, but no resistance: Whoso had seen their Body, might have deemed they had been come to rob some Neighbour-Village, rather than bent to bid the King to such a Breakfast. Marching forward. She is refresh'd at St. Ha­monds Ab­bey.St. Ha­mondes, an Abbey of black Monks, had the honour to give their long-lost Mistriss the first Welcome: Here She receives a fair and free refreshing, and yet but a faint hope of present succour, without the which she knew her case was desperate. The bruit of this strange No­velty was here divulged; which like a Thunder-shower, or some Land-water that had drown'd the Marshes, and o'reflown the Level, doth make the Cattle run to seek for succour: But when they knew the bent of her in­tentions [Page 118] not fixt to rifle, but reform the Kingdom, they come like Pigeons by whole flock [...] to her assistance. Soon flew the News unto the grieved Barons, whose itching ears attentive, long'd to meet it: It doubled as it flew; and ere it toucht them, three hundred He­naults were ten thousand Souldiers. They lose no time, for fear of some prevention. Lancaster first joyns her. Henry of Lanca­ster, whose Brothers Death and proper grievance in­flam'd his heart with Grief, his hand for Vengeance, with a strong troop of Friends and stout Attendants, was the first great one that encreas'd her Party; while many other brave and noble Spirits do second him them­selves, and all their Forces. By these Supplies the Queen and her great Strangers are quickly cured, and freed from their first Quartane that shak'd their hopes with so much agitation.

The slumbring King had slept out all the Prologue of this sad Tragedy, which he suspects would end in blood and mischief: As in his pleasures, in this weighty business he had rely'd secure on Spencer's Wisdome; The King is despai­ringly sor­rowful: his Council startled.but now the hollow murmur of his danger thunder'd so loud, that he enforc'd, awakes, and sees nought but the face of a despairing Sorrow: each day brings news of new re­volt, each hour a Larum, that threatned guilty Souls with Blood and Vengeance: His startled Council frigh­ted, fainting, hopeless, fall to survey the strength of their pursuers; but while they are a registring their Forces, they are inform'd the Storm grows strong and greater, and like a Ball of Snow increas'd by mo­tion. Their proper Weakness, and the Ill-affection of those which should defend their Soveraigns quarrel, makes action doubtful, and the end as hopeless; so that no certain way remain'd to stop the current. Now is the Errour tax'd, and Judgment blamed, that neither barr'd the Gates, nor stopt the Entry, since in the House itself was no assurance. Now is the Cruelty that judg'd the Barons dearly repented, which was [Page 119] come for vengeance. Now is the Tyranny of all that Grievance which had abus'd the King, and robb'd the Kingdom, condemn'd by his own Actors, as a motive in Justice fit to be reform'd and punish'd. Lastly, the purchase gain'd by such corruption as sold Promotions, Places, Justice, Honour, yields no assistance, but doth prove a burden, which bruis'd the hearts and thoughts of them that bare it. Affliction, fittest Physick, sole Commandress for all diseased Minds, polluted Bodies, when she doth sharply touch the sense of our transgres­sions, begets a Sorrow, and a sad Repentance; making us know our selves and our own weakness, which were meer strangers to our own Conditions: This she effects in all; though full Repentance be a work proper to a true Contrition, which by amendment makes her Power more perfect. A Minde that's prepossest, by Custome hardned, with a resolved Will that acts In­justice, observes the first part of her Precepts; sadly sorry, yet 'tis not for his actions, but those errours laid him open to so curst a tryal: The point of Satis­faction or Amendment it thinks too deep a ransome, hard a sentence, which easeth not, but addes to his misfortune. If here might end the end of mans Crea­tion, this had some colour for such crafty Wisdome; but where Eternity of Bliss or Torment doth wait upon the Soul, that leaves the Body a prey to Death, and to a base Corruption, it is an act of madness to betray it with humane Policy, without Religion. Actions of goodness must be truely acted; not sacrificing part, but all the Offering, observing every point that is requir'd to make up a Repentance full and perfect. This Les­son is too hard for those great Babies that suck the milk of Greatness, not Religion. The Fundamental part being fixt to get unjustly, believes a restitution more improper, which makes their cares and former labours fruitless, and in an instant blights an age of gleanings: These be the Meditations of a Statesman, [Page 120] grown plump and fat from other mens Oppressions; they live in doubtful pleasures, dye in terrour; what follows after, they do feel for ever.

Our Councellors, though they were deeply toucht with cause, had yet no leasure but to deliberate their proper safety, which findes a poor protection, dull, and hopeless. Their Enemies rejoyce, their Friends turn craven, and all forsake the pit before the battle. Ne­cessity, that treads upon their heels, admits no respite; they must resolve to fight, or flye, or suffer: This makes them chuse that course which seem'd most hope­ful, to temporize, which might beget advantage; the fury of this storm in time would lessen; the giddy mo­tions of the Vulgar seldome lasted, which throng to all that tends to Innovation: A Kings distress once truely known, would win him succour, since those which break his peace not seek his ruine. With these vain hopes he seeks to guard the City, and make the Tower strong of all Provision; knowing that he which hath but London sure, though all the rest be lost, may yet recover.

The King suspects the City of London.But Edward will not hear to keep the City; their multitude he fear'd would first betray him: He knew they were a crew of weaker Spirits, for fear would sell their fathers, or for profit; they never sift the Justice, or the quarrel; but still adhere and stick to him that's strongest: had he still kept this Hold, and took the Tower, but with the strength he had, and might have levied, he then had bridled up the wavering City, and kept his Adversaries at a bay too long and doubtful for their affairs, which were but yet uncertain. The guard of this place he commends to Stapleton Bishop of Exeter: This Charge did not properly suit with his profession, unless 'twere thought his tongue could charm Obedience: but he already had been false, be­tray'd his Mistriss, and with more reason might be now suspected. It seems they had no choice, and strong [Page 121] presumptions the City would not long remain obedient: if so, the fact was worse and more unworthy, to leave so good a friend in such a hazard. Betakes himself to Bristow.The King, with Arundel and both the Spencers, with small attendance get them hence to Bristow: His Army was much less in his own Kingdom, than those the Queen had rais'd by forreign pity. This Town was strong and able, well provided, and had a Haven, whence in occasion they might venture further: But yet the King might have the same suspicion, which made him leave and quit the strength of London. Arundel and Winchester do under­take the City, Edward and Bristow would make good the Castle; here was the refuge they resolve to stick to, which in the Citizens assurance seem'd defensive.

The Queen understanding the Royal Chamber was forsaken, and left to the custody of the Bishop her old Servant, that had given her the slip in her Travels, quickly apprehends the advantage; The Queen sends a mandatory Letter to the Mayor of London, to keep the City for her and the Prince.addressing a fair, but mandatory Letter from her self and her Son to Chickwell, then Lord Mayor, to charge him so to reserve and keep the City to their use, as he expected favour, or would an­swer the contrary at his peril. Upon the receipt of this Letter, he assembles the Common-Council; and by a cunning-couch'd Oration, the Recorder makes known the Contents; which is no sooner understood, but the general Cry, that observ'd the Tide turning, proclaim it reason to embrace the Queens Party, who was so strongly pro­vided to reform the Disorders of the Kingdom. Sta­pleton having gotten the knowledge of this passage, sends to the Mayor for the keys of the Gates, for the Kings assurance, and his proper safety; Bishop Sta­pleton be­headed by the Multi­tude.who being in­cens'd with the affront of this inconsiderate Bishop, apprehends him, and delivers him to the fury of the enraged multitude; who neither respecting the Gravity of his Years, or the Dignity of his Profession, strike off his Head, without either Arraignment, Tryal, or Condemnation: This brain-sick and heady act had too [Page 122] far engag'd them to reconcile them; they must now either adhere solely to the Queen, or to taste a bitter Penance. The King had an ill Memory in point of desert; but the actions of so unjust a Disorder he kept registred in brass, until he gain'd the opportunity of Revenge; then he never fail'd it. It was a mad part, on so poor an occasion, to act so bloody a Tragedy, which took away all hope of Reconciliation, if the Wheel had turned: However the squares had went, they were upon terms good enough, so long as they contain'd themselves in any temperate condition: But this was a way which incens'd the one part, and not assur'd the other. But the actions of this same heady monster Multitude never examine the Justice, or the dependance, but are led by Passion and Opinion; which in fury leaves no Disorder unacted, and no Vil­lany unattempted. But certainly this was a meer cun­ning practice of the Mayor, who being underhand made sure to the adverse Party, resolv'd to make it of a double use; the one, to help on the opinion of his devotion to the Queen, in the punishment of him that betraid her; the other, by this action to make the Citizens desperate of favour, and so more resolute; who else, being mutable as Weather-cocks, might alter on the least occasion. Let the consideration be what it will, the Fact was inhumane and barbarous, that spilt, without Desert or Justice, the Blood of such a Reverend Prelate; who yet had so much happiness, as to leave to his Honour in the University of Oxford, a remarkable Memorial of his Charity and Goodness. But now to seek out the reward of this vertuous Ser­vice, four of the principal and most eminent Burghers are selected to make known their proceedings and de­votion; who are graciously received, entertain'd, and highly thanked, for their lawless bloody Fact, which was stiled an excellent piece of Justice. Though the deed had been countenanced, in that it ran with the [Page 123] sway of the time, and the Queens humour; yet cer­tainly no great cause of commendation appears; which is so more properly due to the Hangman, which per­formeth the grave Ceremonies of his Office by Warrant, and the actual part on none but such as the Law hath made ready for his Fingers.

The Queen sets out for Bristol.Now is the Queen settling her remove for Bristow, where the Prey remain'd her Haggard-fancy long'd for: She was unwilling to give them so much advantage, though she believ'd it almost impossible, as to hazard the raising of an Army, or so to enable their Provi­sions and Defences, that it might adjourn the hope of making her Victory perfect. She saw she had a great and Royal Army, well provided; but how long it would hold so, she knew not; the principal strength and number consisting of the giddy Commons, who like Land-stoods, rise and fall in an instant: they had never yet seen the face of an Enemy, nor did rightly understand what it was to bear Arms against the King, whom they must here behold a party. These conside­rations hasten her on with more expedition. All the way as she went, she is entertain'd with joyful Accla­mations: Her Army still grows greater, like a be­ginning Cloud that doth fore-run a Shower. Whence a hot Salley upon her.When she was come before this goodly City, and saw his strength, and the Maiden-Bravery of their opposition, which gave her by a hot Salley, led by the valiant Arundel, a testimony of her Welcome, she then thinks that in the Art of War there was somewhat more than meer Imagination; and justly fear'd lest the Royal Mi­sery would beget a swift Compassion; which was more to be doubted of him in his own Kingdom, since she herself had found it in a forreign Country. But smi­ling Fortune, now become her Servant, scarce gives her time to think she might be hinder'd. The Towns­men, that knew no Wars but at their Musters, seeing themselves begirt, the Market hinder'd, which was [Page 124] their chiefest and best Revenue, begin among them­selves to examine the business; They saw no likelihood of any to relieve them, and daily in danger of some sad surprizal. They saw their Lives, Wives, Children and state at stake for the defence of those that had oppress'd them, and wrong'd the Kingdome by their foul Inju­stice: they measur'd the event of an unruly Conquest, where many look for Booty, all for Pillage. A Treaty desired by that City:This did so cramp their valiant hearts, that the Convulsion seeks a present Treaty. The Queen seeing a Pusillanimity be­yond her hopes, and a taint unlook'd for, makes the use, and hits them on the blind side, and answers plainly, She will have no Imparleance, no discoursing; if they desir'd their own Peace, and her assured Fa­vour, they then must entertain and follow her Condi­tions: which if they but delay'd, the next day follow­ing they should abide their Chance, she would her Fortune. Which be­ing rejected, the Queen gives them a perempto­ry Sum­mons.This doom (as it sounds harshly) was deem'd too heavy; but no intreaty could prevail, she would not alter. They yet desire to know what she re­quir'd; and that she grants, and thus unfoldeth: Your Lives and Goods (quoth she) shall rest untouched, nor shall you taste your selves the least Affliction, so you de­liver up with speed your Captains, and in the time prefixt resign the City. A choice so short, so sharp, so per­emptory, being related in the staggering City, breeds straight a supposition, not without reason, she had some certain practis'd Plot within them, or else some way assured for to force the City. They could have been content she had their Captains, since it would set them free from fear and danger; but to be Actors in so foul a Treason, or sacrifice their Guests that came for succour, this they conceit too false and poor a base­ness. No more Imparleance is allow'd, or will be heard, no second motion; the breach in their faint hearts is so well known, that nothing is allow'd but present An­swer: This smart proceeding melts their leaden Valour, [Page 125] which at the first had made so brave a flourish, It is yielded.and brings Arundel, Winchester, and the Town to her pos­session.

When mans own proper portion is in question, and all he hath at stake, be it but doubtful, his eye doth more reflect on his own danger, than on the Laws of Justice, Friendship, Honour. Charity, 'tis true, be­gins at home; but she's a Vertue hath no society with Fraud or Falshood; neither is the breach of Faith, or touch of Treason, allow'd within the verge of her rich Precepts. I do confess, Necessity may drive him to such a bitter choice, that one must perish; but this should be, when things are so near hopeless, that there be more than words to give it justice. A wise and noble minde adviseth soundly upon the act, before it is engaged; but being so, it rather sleeps with Honour, than lives to be the map of his thus tainted Conscience. The interest of Friends, of Guests, of poor oppressed, (though diversly they touch the Patrons credit) yet all agree in this one point of Vertue, Not to betray, where they have vow'd assistance. Had these faint Citizens not given assurance, had they not vow'd to keep their Faiths untainted, the other had not trusted nor inclosed them­selves within so weak and false a Safeguard. But they were most to blame, that would so venture their Lives with­in the power of such a Berry, where they might know were none but suckling Rabbets, that would suspect each Mouse to be a Ferret. Had they but had a guard, secur'd their persons, they might have awed them, or themselves have scaped.

Part of the prey thus gotten, no time is lost to call them to a reckoning. Sir Thomas Wage, Marshal of the Army, draws up a short Information of many large offences, which are solemnly read to the attentive Army, with a Comment of all the harsh aggravations might make them more odious. The confused clamour of the Multitude, serves for Judge, Jury, and Verdict; [Page 126] which brings them to a sharp Sentence to be forthwith hang'd, and their Bodies to remain upon the Gallows. Revenge brooks no delay, no leisure Malice. Old Spencer Executed.Old Spencer feels instantly the rigour of this Judgment: The Green before the Castle is made the place of Exe­cution. Nature that gave him Life, had almost left him; her Vigour was near spent, her Beauty wither'd; he could not long have liv'd, if they had spar'd him. Ninety cold Winters he had past in freedom, and findes untimely Death to end his Story: He parts without complaint or long discoursing; he speaks these few words only, free from passion: God grant the Queen may finde a milder Sentence, when in the other world she makes her Audit. The King and young Spencer a­maz'd.The King, and his unhappy Son, the sad Spectators of this Heart-bleeding Tragedy so full of horrour, are with his dying farewel so amazed, that scarcely they had speech, or breath, or motion; so bit­ter a Preludium made them censure their own conditi­ons were as nearly fatal. The King, a Sovereign, Father, and a Husband, did hope these Titles would be yet sufficient to guard his Life, if not preserve his Great­ness; but these prov'd all too weak: Where Crowns are gain'd by Blood and Treason, they are so secured. Spencer had not a grain of hope for mercy: the Barons Deaths prejudg'd his coming fortune. The Queen used not to jest where she was angry; his Fathers end assur'd her inclination, and bade him rather venture any hazard, than that which must rely on female pity. With a world of Melancholy thoughts he casts the danger, yet could not finde a way that might prevent it. The Castle in it self was strong, but weakly fur­nisht. Time now he sees could promise no assistance; their Adversaries were full bent to work their ruine, either by publick Force, or private Famine; so that in their abode was sure destruction. The King in this de­clar'd himself a Noble Master; he priz'd his Servants Life as his own Safety, which won them both to try their utmost hazard.

[Page 127] The Queen batters the Castle.The Queen impatient to surprize this Fortress, doth batter, undermine, and still assail it; but these were all in vain, and proved fruitless; the Rampiers were too strong, too well defended: She threatens and intreats, but to small purpose; here were no Citizens that might betray it: Alas, there needed none, as it succeeded; the proper Owners wrought their own confusion; The King and Spencer betake to a Bark, but are beaten back by Weather.they leave their strength, and closely try their fortune, which made them board a Bark rode in the Harbour, in hope to get away undescryed: This was the Plot, or none, must work their freedome. But all things thrive alike with him that's falling. The Gale averse, they softly tide her onwards; the Wind will not consent to give them passage, but rudely hurls them back to their first Harbour. Thrice had they past St. Vincents Rock, famous for Bristow Diamonds; but in that Reach are hurryed back with fury: The Elements of Earth, of Air, of Water, conspir'd all at once to make them hopeless.

Sir Henry Beaumonde quartered next the Haven, being inform'd that this gadding Pinnace had often attempted passage without reason, the wind contrarious, and the weather doubtful, suspects that her designe was great and hasty; The Bark seized.on this he seiz'd her, and surveys her lading, which prov'd a prize beyond his expectation: within her hollow bulk, a Cell of darkness, he findes this pair obscur'd, not undiscover'd. The King hath gracious words, and all due reverence; but Spencer is contem­ned, and used with rigour. This ends the War, and gave the work perfection. Fortune, that triumphs in the Fall of Princes, like a Stepmother, rests not where she frowneth, till she have wholly ruin'd and o'rethrown their Power, that do precede or else oppose her Dar­lings.

The Queen having thus attained to the full of her desire, resolves to use it to the best advantage: Ambi­tion seis'd her strongly, yet resigneth to her incensed [Page 128] Passion the precedence; her own good nature (though she might adventure) she would not trust so far, to see her Husband; nor did she think it fit those valiant strangers begun the work, should view or see the Captive; such sights sometimes beget as strange impres­sions; The King sent to Ber­kly Castle.instantly he is convey'd to Berklay-Castle, there to remain restrain'd, but well attended. Spencer in­sulted over. Spencer is hardly kept, but often visited; 'twas not with pity, which be­fits a Prisoner, but with insulting joy, and base derision. Their eyes with sight, and tongues with rayling glut­ted, the act must follow that may stop the rancour, which gives him to the Marshal lockt in Irons: He here receives the self-same entertainment his aged Father found; alone the difference, he had a longer time, and sharper Sentence. All things thus order'd, the Queen removes for London, meaning to make Hereford her way, and the last Journey of her condemned Prisoner, that attends her each place she passeth by. A world of people do strain their wider throats to bid her welcome, with yelping cries that ecchoed with confusion. While She thus passeth on with a kinde of insulting Ty­ranny, far short of the belief of her former Vertue and Goodness, she makes this poor unhappy man at­tend her Progress, not as the antient Romans did their vanquish'd Prisoners, for ostentation, to increase their Triumph; but merely for Revenge, Despite, and pri­vate Rancour; mounted upon a poor, lean, ugly Jade, as basely furnisht; cloath'd in a painted Taberd, which was then a Garment worn by condemned Thieves alone; and tatter'd rascally, he is led through each Town be­hinde the Carriage, with Reeds and Pipes that sound the summons to call the wondering Crue together might abuse him; all the bitter'st actions of disgrace were thrown upon him. Certainly this man was infinitely vicious, and deserv'd as much as could be laid upon him, for those many great and insolent Oppressions, acted with Injustice, Cruely, and Blood; yet it had [Page 129] been much more to the Queens Honour, if she had given him a quicker Death, and a more honourable Tryal, free from these opprobrious and barbarous Disgraces, which savour'd more of a savage, tyrannical disposition, than a judgment fit to command, or sway the Sword of Justice.

Though not by Birth, yet by Creation he was a Peer of the Kingdom, and by the Dignity of his place one of the most eminent; which might (if not to him in his particular, yet in the Rights due to Nobility and Great­ness) have found some more honourable a distinction, than to be made more infamous and contemptible than the basest Rogue, or most notorious Cutpurse. The Queens Cruelty.It is assuredly (give it what title you will) an argument of a Villanous Disposition, and a Devilish Nature, to ty­rannize and abuse those wretched ruines which are un­der the Mercy of the Law, whose Severity is bitter enough without aggravation. A Noble Minde doth out of native Goodness shew a kinde of Sweetness in the disposition, which, if not the Man, doth pity his Misfortune; but never doth increase his sorrow by baser usage than becomes his Justice. In Christian Pie­ty, which is the Day-star that should direct and guide all humane Actions, the heart should be as free from all that's cruel, as being too remiss in point of Justice. The Life of Man is all that can be taken; 'tis that must expiate his worst Offences; the Law must guide the way; Justice, not Fury, must be his Judge; so far there is no Errour. But when a flux of Torment fol­lows Judgment, which may be done in Speech as well as Action, it gives too many Deaths to one Offender, and stains the Actors with a foul dishonour. To see such a Monster so monstrously used, no question plea­sed the giddy Multitude, who scarcely know the civil grounds of Reason: the recollected Judgment that be­held it, censur'd it was at best too great and deep a blemish to suit a Queen, a Woman, and a Victor. [Page 130] Spencer han­ged.Whether her Imposition, or his patient Suffering were greater, or became first weary, he now is brought to give them both an ending, upon a Gallows highly built of purpose; he now receives the end of all his Tor­ments; the Cruelty was such, unfit to be recorded. Whether it were the greatness of his heart, or it were broken, he leaves the world with such a constant par­ting, as seem'd as free from fear, as fruitless plaining.

Arundel the like.Four days are scarcely ended, ere Arundel doth taste the self-same fortune. Until the last Combustion, I finde no mention in the Story of this Noble Gentleman, neither could I ever read any just cause why his Life was thus taken from him, unless it were a Capital Of­fence not to forsake his Master: It was then a very hard case, if it must be adjudged Treason to labour to defend his King and Soveraign, to whom he had sworn Faith and Obedience, suffering for preserving that Truth and Oath, which they had all treacherously broken, that were his Judges. If it were deemed a fault deep enough to be taken in company with those that were corrupt and wicked, I see yet no reason why he alone should suffer, and those their other Creatures were per­mitted many of them unquestion'd, some preferr'd, and none executed. But we may not properly expect Rea­son in Womens actions: It was enough the incensed Queen would have it so, against which was no dispu­ting.

The Queen comes to London.Her business thus dispatcht, she comes to London, where she hath all the Royal Entertainment due to her Greatness. The Citizens do run and crowd to see her, that if the Wheel should turn, would be as forward to make the self-same speed to see her ruine. She calls a Parliament.Assoon as here she had settled her affairs, and made things ready, she calls a Parliament, and sends forth Summons for the appearance, which as soon ensued; herein she makes her Husband seal the Warrant, who God knows scarcely knew what she was doing, but lived a Recluse, [Page 131] well and surely guarded. When this grave Assembly was come together, the Errours and the Abuses of the Kingdom are laid full open; which touch'd the King with a more insolent liberty than might well become the tongues of those which must yet be his Subjects. Many ways of Reformation for forms sake are discussed, but the intended course was fully before resolved; yet it was fit there should be a handsome Introduction. The issue at length falls upon the point of Necessity, shewing, that Edward, by the imbecillity of his judgment, and the corruption of his nature, was unfit longer to con­tinue the Government, which was so diseased and sick, that it required a King more careful and active: as if the conferring it upon a green Youth, little more than an Infant, had been Warranty enough for these Alle­gations; but they serv'd turn well enough, where all were agreed; and there was not so much as a just fear of opposition: It ne're was toucht or exprest by what Law, Divine or Humane, the Subject might Depose, not an Elective King, but one that Lineally and Justly had inherited, and so long enjoy'd it: this was too deep a Mystery, and altogether improper for their re­solution. A short time at length brings them all to one Minde, which in a true construction was no more than a mere Politick Treason, not more dangerous in the Act than in the Example. They con­clude to de­pose the King.The three Estates unà voce conclude the Father must be Deposed, and his un­ripe Son must be Invested in the Royal Dignity. Not a Lord, Bishop, Knight, Judge, or Burgess, but that day left his Memory behinde him; they could not else so generally have forgot the Oaths of their Allegiance, so solemnly sworn to their old Master, whom they had just cause to restrain from his Errours, but no ground or colour to deprive him of his Kingdom; who that day found neither Kinsman, Friend, Servant, or Sub­ject to defend his Interest. It is probable he could not be so generally forsaken, and not unlikely but that he [Page 132] had some in this Assembly well-affected, which seeing the violence and strength of the Current, knew their contestation might endanger themselves, and not ad­vantage him in his possession. But this justifies them not, neither in their Oaths, Love, or Duty, which should have been sincere and eminent: He that had here really express'd himself, had left to Posterity an honourable Memorial of his Faith, Worth, and Valour. Never will the remembrance of that stout and reverend Bishop dye, who in the Case of Richard the Second exprest himself so honestly and bravely. Civil respects, though they deeply touch in particular, warrant not the breach of publick engagements; nei­ther is it properly Wisdome, but Craft, infringeth the Laws of Duty or Honesty: If that may be admitted, what Perjury may not finde an excuse, what Rebel­lion not a justifiable answer? But it is clear, there may not be a wilful violation of Oaths, though it tend deeply to our own loss and prejudice.

The Resolution being now fully concluded, that must uncrown this unhappy King, divers of both Houses are sent unto him to make the Declaration; The Speaker makes a re­signation of Homage, & reads the Sentence.who being come into his presence, Trussel the Speaker of the lower House, in the Name of the whole Kingdom, makes a Resignation of all Homage and Fealty, and then doth read the Sentence. Edward, that had been aforehand informed, the better to prepare him, had arm'd him­self with as much Patience, as his Necessity could give him; with an attentive ear hears all full out; The King answers not a word.which done, he turns away without answering a word. He knew it was in vain to spend time in Discourse or Contestation, which must be the ready way to endan­ger his Life; and in his consenting with a dangerous example to his Successours, he had both their Power and his own Guilt made evident to Posterity; which might have made the practice more frequent and fami­liar. He had still a kinde of Hope that his Adversaries [Page 137] would run themselves out of breath, when there would be both room and time to alter his condition. Thus this unfortunate King, after he had with a perpetual a­gitation governed this Kingdome eighteen years, odde months and days, lost it partly by his own Disorder and Improvidence, but principally by the treacherous Infi­delity of his Wife, Servants, and Subjects. And it is most memorable, an Army of three hundred Strangers entred his Dominion, and took from him the Rule and Governance, without so much as blow given, or the loss of any one man, more than such as perished by the hand of Justice.

Though in a sinking Greatness all things conspire to work a fatal ruine, yet in our Story this is the first pre­sident of this nature, or where a King fell with so little Honour, and so great an Infidelity, that found neither Sword or Tongue to plead his quarrel. But what could be expected, when for his own private Vanities and Passion, he had been a continual lover and a better of unjust actions, and had consented to the Op­pression of the whole Kingdom, and the untimely Death of so many Noble Subjects? It is certainly no less ho­nourable than just, that the Majesty of a King have that same full and free use of his Affections, without Envy or Hatred, which every private man hath in his oeconomick Government: Yet as his Calling is the greatest, such must his Care be, to square them out by those same sacred Rules of Equity and Justice; if they once transcend, or exceed, falling upon an extremity of Dotage or Indulgence, it then occasions those Er­rours that are the certain Predictions of an ensuing Trouble, which many times proves fatal and dangerous. Let the Favourite taste the King's Bounty, not devour it; let him enjoy his ear, but not ingross it; let him participate his love, but not enchant it. In the eye of the Commonwealth if he must be a Moat, let him not be a Monster. And lastly, if he must practise on [Page 138] the Subject, let it be with moderation, and not with rapine. If in either of these there be an excess, which makes the King a Monarchy to his Will, and the King­dom a prey to his Passion, and the world take notice it be done by the Royal Indulgencie, it begets not more hatred than multiplicity of errour, which draw with them dangerous Convulsions, if not a desperate ruine to that State where it hath his allowance and practice. As there ought to be a limitation in the Affection of the one, so ought there to be a like Curiosity in the qua­lity of the other: Persons of meaner condition and birth exalted above proportion, as it taxeth the Kings Judgment, impaireth both his Safety and Honour. Neither is it proper, that the principal Strengths and Dignities should be committed to the care and fidelity of one man onely; such unworthy and unequal distri­bution wins a discontent from the more capable in abi­lity and blood, and carries with it a kinde of necessary impulsion still to continue his greatness; else having the keys of the Kingdom in his hand, he may at all times open the gates to a domestick Danger, or a forreign Mis­chief. The number of Servants is the Masters honour; their truth and faculties his glory and safety; which being severally employ'd and countenanced, make it at one and the self-same time perspicuous in many; and being indifferently heard, do, both in advice and acti­on, give a more secure, discreet, and safe form of pro­ceeding. Kings in their deliberations should be served with a Council of State, and a Council of particular Interest and Honour; the one to survey the Policy, the other the Goodness of all matters in question; both composed out of Integrity, not Corruption: these delivering truely their Opinions and Judgments, it is more easie for him to reconcile and elect: But when one man alone supplies both these places in private and publick, all the rest follow the voice of the Drone, though it be against their own Conscience and Judg­ment. [Page 139] The Royal Glory should be pure, and yet transparent, suffering not the least eclipse or shadow; which appears visibly defective, when it is wholly led by a single advice never so grave and weighty: let the projection, if it be entertained, have the teste of a Council; but let the act and glory be solely the Kings, which addes to the belief of his ability, and more assures his greatness. If the heart of Majesty be given over to the sensuality of Pleasure, or betray'd by his proper Weakness, or the cunning of him he trusteth; yet let him not neglect the necessary affairs of a Kingdom, or pass them over by Bills of Exchange to the provi­dence of another: In such an act he loseth the Prero­gative of an absolute King, and is but so at second­hand and by direction. It is the Practique, not the Theorique of State, that wins and assures the Sub­ject: If the ability of that be confined or doubtful, it estrangeth the will of Obedience, and gives a belief of liberty to the actions of Disorder and Injustice. Such an Errour is not more prejudicial in the Imbecil­lity, than in the Example. Royal Vanities finde a ready imitation, so that it becomes a hazard that a careless King makes a dissolute Kingdom. Mans nature is propensive to the worser part; which it embraceth with more facility and willingness, when it wins the advantage of the time, and is led by so eminent a president. From this consideration, natural Weakness, or temporary Imperfection, should be always masked, and never appear in publick, since the Court, State, and Kingdom, practise generally by his Example. As in Affection, so in Passion, there are many things e­qually considerable. I must confess, and do believe, that King worthy of an Angelical Title, that could master these rebellious Monsters, which rob him of his Peace and Happiness: But this in a true perfection, is to Flesh and Blood most impossible; yet both in Divi­nity and Moral Wisdome, t is the most excellent Ma­ster-piece [Page 140] of this our peregrination, so to dispose them, that they wait upon the Operations of the Soul rather as obedient Servants, than loose and uncontrouled Vaga­bonds. Where the Royal Passions are rebellious and ma­sterless, having so unlimited a Power, his Will becomes the Law; his hand the executioner of actions unjust and disorderly, which end sometimes in Blood, commonly in Oppression, and evermore in a confused perturbation of the Kingdome. The Warranty of the Law wrought to his temper, not that it is so, but that he must have it so, justifies him not, though he make a Legal Pro­ceeding the justification of his Tyranny; since the In­nocency of the Subject seldome findes protection, where the fury of a King resolves his ruine. The rigour of humane Constitutions are to the Delinquent weighty enough; let them not be wrested or inverted; which makes the King equally guilty, and the actor of his own Passions, rather than those of Justice or Integrity. He should on earth order his proceedings in imitation after the Divine Nature, which evermore inclines more to Mercy than Justice. Lives cannot, being taken away, be redeemed; there ought then to be a tender consi­deration how they be taken, lest the Injustice of the act, challenge a Vengeance of the same nature. As the quality of the act, so is the condition of the agent considerable in point of Judicature; wherein there may be sometimes those dependencies, that it may be more honourable and advantageous to pardon, or delay exe­cution, than to advance and hasten it: howsoever, it is the more excellent and innocent way, to fall short of the better hand, and to suffer the Severity of the Law rather seem defective, than an apparent taint in the suffering disposition and goodness. The actions of Re­pentance are registred in the table of our Transgres­sions, where none to the guilty Conscience appears more horrid and fearful, than those which by an inconsiderate haste or corruption of the Will have been acted in [Page 141] Blood and Passion. So great a height as the Majesty of a King, should be cloathed with as sweet a temper, neither too precipitate, or too slow; neither too vio­lent, or too remiss; but like the beating of a healthy Pulse, with a steady and well-advised motion, which preserves a just Obedience and Fear in those which are vicious, and begets a Love and Admiration in all, especially such as so graciously taste his Goodness.

I have dwelt too long in this digression; yet I must (though it a little delay the concluding part of this History) speak somewhat that is no less proper for him that shall have the happiness to enjoy so fair and large a room in the Royal affections. There must be in him a correspondent worth, as well of Wisdome and Obe­dience, as of Sincerity and Truth; which makes no other use of this so great a blessing, but to his Sove­raigns Honour, and his own credit; and not to advan­tage himself by the oppression of others, or improving the particular by the ruine of a Kingdome. If the Ma­sters actions be never so pure and innocent, yet if out of affection he become the Patron of the Servants misde­meanours and insolencies, by protecting or not pu­nishing, he makes himself guilty, and shares both in the grievance and hatred of the poor distressed Subject. The general cry seeing the stream polluted, ascribe it to the Fountain-head, where is the Spring that may re­form and cleanse it. By this one particular errour of Protection; he that will read the History of our own, or those of Forreign Nations, shall finde a number of memorable Examples, which have produced Deposition of Kings, Ruine of Kingdoms, the Effusion of Christi­an Blood, and the general Distemper of that part of the world, all grounded on this occasion. Let him then that out of his Masters Love, more than his own Desert, hath made himself a fortune, be precisely care­ful, that by his disorder he endanger not the stair and prop of his Preferment; which he shall make firm and [Page 142] permanent, in making Humility and Goodness the Ada­mant to draw the love both of his equals and inferiours: Such a winning Sweetness assures their hearts, which in the least contempt or insolence are apt and ready to receive the impressions of Envy and Hatred; which if they once take root, end not in Speculation, but Acti­ons either publickly violent, or privately malicious; both tending to his ruine and confusion. If he stray from this Principle, striving to make an imperious height beget fear, and the opinion of that fear the rock whereon he builds his Greatness; let him then know, that the first is the Companion of Trust and Safety, the other a Slave, that will break loose with opportunity and advantage. Neither hath it any touch of Discretion, or Society with Wisdome, or Moral Policy, to glorifie his new-acquired Greatness with un­necessary amplifications, either in multiplicity of At­tendants, vanity of Apparel, superfluity of Diet, sum­ptuousness of Structures, or any other ridiculous emi­nency, that may demonstrate his Pride or Ambition: Wise men deride it, Fools applaud it, his Equals envy it, and his Inferiours hate it. All jumping at length in one conclusion, that his Fortune is above his Merit, and his Pride much greater than his Worth and Judg­ment. But this presuming Impudence ends not here: Kings themselves may suffer for a time, but in the end they will rather change their Affections, than to be dazled and outshin'd in their own Sphere and Element.

The young King crow­ned.Now is this young King Crowned with a great deal of Triumphant Honour, but with a more expectation of what would become of this giddy world, which seem'd to run upon wheels, by reason of so sudden and so great a revolution. The Queen and Morti­mer bear sway.The Queen and Mortimer in this his Minority take upon them the whole Sway and Go­vernment of the Kingdome. The Act wherein they express'd themselves and their new Authority first, was the Commitment of Baldock, the quondam Lord Chan­cellor, [Page 143] who hath the Great Seal taken from him, They com­mit Baldock to Newgate.and was sent to Newgate. It may be wonder'd why he was so long spared; they had use of his Place, though not of his Person; and had no Power, if they had thrust him out, to have brought in another, or to have exe­cuted it by Commission, unless they would admit it as an act of the old King, until the new were Crowned. This Cage was fit for such a Coysterel; but yet his place being so eminent, it was believed somewhat un­worthy; Tresilian Lord Chief-Justice han­ged.yet succeeding time made it not much out of square, when Trisilian Lord Chief Justice was hang'd, for interpreting the Law against Law and his own Con­science, for the Kings advantage. Now the recollected spirits begin to parallel time present with that precedent, and to meditate upon that act which had disrobed and put down an anointed King, that had so long sway'd the Scepter, to whom they had so solemnly sworn Faith and Obedience: They finde the State little altered, onely things are thought more handsomly carried, and the Actors were somewhat more warrantable; yet the Multitude, according to the vanity of their changeable hearts, begin already to be crop-sick, wishing for their old Master, and ready to attempt any new Innovation: such is the mutability of the inconstant Vulgar, desirous of new things, but never contented; despising the time being, extolling that of their Forefathers, and ready to act any mischief to try by alteration the succedent; like Aesops Frogs, if they might have their own fancy, each Week should give them a new King, though it were to their own destruction. This occasions many unplea­sing Petitions and Suits tender'd to the new King and his Protectors, for the releasement of Edward's Impri­sonment, or at least for more freedom, or a more noble usage. But these touch too near the quick, to beget a sudden answer. As things stood, they neither grant nor deny, either of them carrying with it so dangerous a hazard: If he were free, they must shake [Page 144] hands with their greatness; and a flat denial would have endanger'd a sudden tumult. They give good words, and promise more than ever they meant to per­form, yielding many reasons why they could not yet give a definitive resolution; this for the present satis­fies.

The black Monks im­patient of the King's restraint.The black Monks are more importunate, and take not this delay for an answer; but being still adjourn'd over with protraction, they labour to bring that about by Conspiracy, which they could not do by Intreaty: in their publick Exhortations they inveigh against the severity of the King's usage, and invite their Auditory to set to a helping hand to the procurement of his Freedom; they extenuate his Faults, and transfer them to them that had the guidance of his affairs, and not to his own natural Disposition; they tax the impropriety of the time, when the Kingdom was under the Govern­ment of a Child and a Woman; and spare no point that might advance compassion for the one, or procure a dislike of the other. They not only incite the people, but make Donhead their Ca­ptain;Neither are they content with a verbal incitation, but fall to matter of fact, that o­thers might move by their example: They make one of their number, named Donhead, their Captain; a good, stout, bold, and factious Fellow; one that was daring enough, but knew better what belong'd to Church-Ornaments, than the handsome carriage of a Conspiracy, that was to be managed by Armes, and not by the liberty of the Tongue; Who is clapt by the heels, and dies.whose liberality claps him by the heels, where he not long after dyes, before he had so much as muster'd his Covent.

This gathering Cloud thus dispers'd without a shower, the Queen and Mortimer, to take off the peo­ple from harping farther upon this string, send forth divers plausible Proclamations, intimating a strict charge for the reformation of divers petty Grievances; and withal are divulged sundry probabilities of Forreign dangers from France and Scotland: which were pre­sently [Page 145] understood to be but mere fictions, in respect at the same instant she frees herself of her forreign Aid, which in such an occasion might have as well served to defend the Kingdome, as to invade it. They made, it is true, an earnest suit to be gone, having well feather'd their nests; but if the fear had been such as was bruited, I think the Queen both might and would have retain'd them. It may be their addiction to Arms was weary of so long a Vacation, or they were desi­rous to shew themselves at home with honour, whence they had parted with so poor an expectation; and per­adventure she was unwilling they should be witness of that unnatural Tragedy, which she saw then broyling in Mortimer's breast, though not resolved on; which must have wounded her reputation in that Climate, where she had won so great a belief of her Wisdome, Vertue, and Goodness. Liberally and nobly she re­quites every man, according to his Merit and Condi­tion; Sir John of Heynault and the rest rewarded.but to Sir John of Heynault, whose Heroick Spirit gave the first life to this action; and to the Oracle of her recovery, and all those of the better sort, she pre­sents many rich Jewels, and Annuities of yearly Re­venue, according to the quality of the time in being. They hold themselves Royally requited; They de­part the Kingdom.and taking a solemn leave, are honourably accompanied to Dover, where they take their Farwel of the Kingdom, with a much merrier eye than when they first beheld it.

Whoso shall wisely consider the desperate attempt of this little handful of Adventurers, and their fortunate issue, may justly esteem it one of the most memorable Passages of our time, since it was merely guided by pity and compassion; without pay, without provision, to attempt an act not more dangerous than hopeless; yet they gave it perfection, without so much as the loss of any one man; and returned home glorious in honour, rich in purchase; not gained by pillage, robbery, or un­just rapine (the hope and revenue of a War;) but by [Page 146] the just reward due to their Valour and Vertue. The cause of so fair a progression, and so successful an end, may have divers probabilities likely enough to ground our judgment; As the sincerity of the Intention, the goodness of the Work, and many other, which may be alledged: but the most essential may be drawn from this; they were (though but a small one) yet an entire body, composed of such as knew what appertain'd to Arms and Breeding; Men that were vertuously in­clin'd, and aw'd with the true sense of Religion (in the Wars of late years become a mere stranger) where no Victory is esteem'd dishonourable, no Purchase unlaw­ful. Certainly our Wars and our Plantations nearly resemble, being both used as a Broom to sweep the Kingdome, rather than an enterprize to adorn it; which makes the event so unfortunate in War; which alone falls properly within the compass of this Treatie, it being the greatest and most weighty work, that either gives honour or safety to a Kingdom: They should be begun with Justice, and managed as well with Wis­dome as Valour; their beginning should be with a choice care, which makes the ending fortunate. The number of bodies is not the Strength, their fury not the Bulwork; it is the Piety and true Valour of an Army, which gives them Heart and Victory; which how it can be expected out of Ruffians and Goal-birds, that are the scum of the Commonwealth, I leave to your con­sideration. I commend his Curiosity, that would not buy a piece of Plate stoln from Orphans, though he might have had it at an under-value, lawfully e­nough; but more his reason, which would not commix it with his own, for fear lest it might occasion a pu­nishment upon his which were innocent, and not toucht with a Guilt that might in Justice challenge Vengeance. But in the Military Practice it is believed, so a man have shape and limbs, 'tis no matter though he have murder'd his own Father, or committed Incest with his [Page 147] Mother; it is his metal, not his conditions, gives him admittance: Hence spring Treachery, that forsakes his Colours; Treason, that betrays the Captain; and at the best, those actions of Bloud and Murder, that cry ra­ther for Vengeance, than promise Victory. A General, it is true, that hath his Army made to his hand, cannot distinguish their conditions; the first act is the errour of those entrusted; yet if he in the knowledge continue, and not punish the practice of so barbarous actions, though it be against an enemy, it must wound his Ho­nour, and endanger his Safety, liable to the accompt of those transgressions, which are acted by those that are under his charge without a just punishment. It is an Observation remarkable, that a Press coming into the Country, there is a great deal of shift made in eve­ry Town and Village to lay hold of all the most noto­rious debauch'd Rascals, to fill up the number; these clear the Coast, and are believed fit Champions to fight for their Sovereigns Honour, and the Kingdoms Safety; and the rather, because in want of Pay (the ruine of an Army) they are best able to live by their Trade. But what follows? They are either led to the Slaughter, or by the Divine Justice prove the ruine of the Enterprise; or returning, practise private Villanies with more con­fidence; or publick Mutinies, under pretence of want of Wages.

The King taken from the Earl of Lancaster, & delivered to Sir Morrice Berkley and Sir John Matravas.But I will leave them to a reformation, and proceed to the Tragedy of this unfortunate King, who is now taken from the Earl of Lancaster, and delivered over by Indenture to Sir Morrice Berkley and Sir John Matravas. They lead him back to the Cage of his first Imprison­ment; carrying him closely, and with a reserved Se­crecy, lest his Friends in the knowledge of his Remove might attempt his Freedome. They re­move him in disguise.And to make his Disco­very more difficult, they disfigure him, by cutting off his Hair, and shaving of his Beard. Edward, that had been formerly honourably used, and tenderly ser­ved, [Page 148] The King grieved with In­ bitterly grieved with this Indignity; and one day among the rest, when they came to shave him, which was attempted without fire, and a cold liquor, his eyes pour forth a stream of Tears in sense of his Misfortune, which to the inquisitive Actors gives this answer, He would have some warm water, in spight of all their malice. Another time, in the presence of two or three of those that were as well set to be Spies over him, as to guard him, in a deep Melancholy Passion he thus discours'd his Sorrow. His Com­plaint.Is mine offence (quoth he) so great and grievous, that it deserves nor pity nor assistance? Is Christian Charity, all Goodness lost; and nothing left in Subject, Child, or Servant, that tastes of Duty? Is Wedlock-love forgotten so fully, all at once forsake me? Admit my errours fit for reformation; I will not justifie my self, or censure others: Is't not enough that it hath taken from me my Crown, the Glory of my former being, but it must leave me void of native comfort? I yet remain a Father, and a Husband; a Soveraign and a Ma­ster lost, cannot deprive me of that which is mine own, till Death dissolve me: Where then is filial Love? Where that Affection that waits upon the Laws of God and Na­ture? My wretched Cares have not so much transform'd a me, that I am turn'd to Basilisk, or Monster. What can they fear, that they refuse to see me? unless they doubt mine eyes can dart destruction. I have no other Weapons that may fright them; and these (God wot) have only tears to drown them. Can they believe or once suspect a danger in visit of a poor distressed Captive? Their hardned hearts I know are not so noble, or apt to take a gentler milde impression, by seeing these poor ruines thus forsaken; What then occasions this so great a strangeness, or makes them jealous of so poor a venture? Are they not yet con­tent in the possession of all that once was mine, now theirs? But by what title, their Arms can better tell, than can their Conscience. My misled harmless Children are not guilty; my Wife betrays them, and false Mortimer; who [Page 149] else I know would run to see their Father. Justly I pay the price of former folly, that let him scape to work mine own confusion: Had he had his desert, the price of Trea­son, he had not liv'd to work me this dishonour. But time will come my wrongs will be revenged, when he shall fall with his own weight unpitied. Thou wretched state of Greatness, painted Glory, that falling find'st thine own the most perfidious; must thou still live, and yet not worthy of one poor look? It is a meer Injustice: Would they would take my Life, 'tis that they aim at. I will esteem it as an act of pity, that, as I live, but hate mine own Condition.’

Here with a deep sigh of scalding Passions, his tears break loose afresh, to cool their fury. All sadly silent while he rests perplexed, a stander by makes this un­civil answer, whom Mortimer had placed to increase his sorrow. The King is uncivilly upbraided.Most gracious Sir, the Queen your Wife, and Children, are justly jealous of your cruel nature; they know too well your heat and former fury, to come too near so great and sure a danger; besides, they are assur'd that your in­tentions are bent to work them hurt, or some foul mischief, if they adventure to approach your presence.’

His Answer.The Queen my Wife (quoth he) hath she that Title, while I that made her so am less than nothing? Alas poor wretched woman, can her invention, apt for mischief, fashion no one excuse but this so void of reason? Is there a possibility in her Suspition? Can I, being so resolved, act a Murder, or can their false hearts dream me so ill-minded? I am, thou seest, a poor forsaken Prisoner, as far from such a Power, as Will to act it; they too well know it, to suspect my nature. But let them wonder on, and scorn my sorrow; I must endure, and they will taste their errour. But fellow, thou that tak'st such sawcy boldness to character and speak thy Sovereigns errours, which thou shouldst cover, not presume to question; Know, Edward's heart is as free from thine aspersions, as thou or they from Truth or Moral Goodness.’When he had ended these words, he retires himself to his Chamber, sad and [Page 150] melancholy; thinking his Case was hard and desperate, when such a paultry Groom durst so affront him.

The Queen and Mortimer revelling in the height of their Ambition, had yet a wary eye to the main, which they knew principally consisted in the sure keeping of their Prisoner. They see their plausible income was but dully continued, there being a whispering murmur not so closely mutter'd, but that it came to their ears, which shew'd an absolute dislike of the manner of their proceedings: The Queen and Morti­mer unquiet still.Though they had all the marks and essen­tial parts of Sovereignty, the name alone excepted, yet they had unquiet and troubled thoughts: What they wish'd they had obtain'd, yet there was still something wanting to give it perfection. Such is the vanity of our imagination, which fashions out a period to our de­sires, that being obtain'd, are yet as loose and restless. Ambition hath no end, but still goes upward, never content or fully satisfied. If man had all that Earth could give, and were sole Monarch of the world, he yet would farther; and as the Giants did make War with Heaven, rather than lose those Symptomes of his Nature. Fear to preserve what is unjustly gotten, doth give the new-made great one agitation, which some­thing limits his immense affections, that do believe he must still mount up higher, and else would swallow all within his compass. This made this pair stop here a while, to strengthen and more assure what was al­ready gotten: They know the people giddy, false, in­constant; a feather wagg'd would blow them to com­motion. They see the Lords, that were their prime Supporters, seeming content, in heart not satisfied; the bough was lopt that shadow'd ore their greatness; an­other was sprung up as large and fearful; which though more noble, yet no less aspiring. The drooping tongue of the dejected Kingdom doth grumble out his ex­pectations cozen'd.

The Grievance still continues great and heavy, not [Page 151] chang'd in substance, but alone in habit; a just com­passion aggravates the clamour, to see their former King so hardly used, short of his Honour, Merit, Birth, and Calling. Mortimer's ears tingle.These passages related, tingled the ears of our great Mortimer; he knew that all was now at stake, which unprevented must hurl them back again with worse conditions. He tells the Queen, the King must die.No longer can he mince his own Conceptions, but plainly tells the Queen the cause must perish, Edward must dye; this is the only refuge must make all sure, and cleanse this sad suspicion; so long as he remain'd, their fear continues, as would the hope of them attempt their ruine. The Warranty of Arms had a fair colour; that should be levied to at­tempt his rescue, which had a Royal stamp to raise and make them current. If such a Project should be once in action, it would be then too late to seek to cross it. All men are apt to pity so great a King oppressed; and not so much look on what he had been, as what he is, and being restor'd he might be.

She seems disconten­ted.The Queen, whose heart was yet believed innocent of such foul Murther, is, or at least seems, highly discon­tented; She acknowledges his present Sufferings greater than his Offences, or might become the King, her Lord and Husband; and holds this act of too too foul In­justice, which stiles her Son a Homicide, and her a Monster: The crimson Guilt of such a crying action could not escape the cruel hand of Vengeance: If it might be concealed from humane Knowledge, the All-knowing Power of Heaven would lay it open. She thinks it more than an act of Bloud, to kill a Husband, and a King, that sometimes loved her: She thinks her Son not of so ill a nature, as to slip o're his Fathers Death untouch'd, unpunish'd, when that he was grown up in power to sift it. These motives made her thus return her Answer.

She returns her Answer.
Let us resolve (dear Friend) to run all hazards, rather than this that is so foul and cruel; let us not stain our [Page 152] Souls with Royal Bloud and Murder, which seldome scapes unseen, but never unpunish'd, especially for such a fear as is but casual: while we are innocent, at worst our danger is but privation of this glorious shadow, which Death can take, when we believe it surest; but if we taint the in­ward part with such a tincture, our proper Guilt will bring continual terrour, a fear that never dyes, but lives still dying. If Edward do get loose, what need we fear him, that pull'd him down when he was great, at highest? Why should we then resolve his Death or Murder? this Help may serve when we are desperate of other Remedies, which yet appears not. To act so great a sin without com­pulsion, addes to the deed, and makes it far more odious; nor can it plead excuse if after question'd, that hath no cause but merely Supposition. Say that he were a dead man, gone and hopeless, neither our fears or dangers are more lessen'd; we are still subject to the self same hazard, and have to boot our proper Guilt to cause it. Those that do hate or envy us, can fashion other pretexts, as fair as this, to shake us; which we shall better crush, while we are guiltless. Then think upon some other course as sure, more harmless; ne're can my heart consent to kill my Hus­band.

Mortimer nettled. Mortimer being nettled with this Reply, so far wide of the aim which in his bloudy thoughts he had so constantly resolved on, thought he would return the Queen as bitter a Pill, as she had given him to bite on; which makes him thus reply in anger.

His Reply.
Madam, who hath the time to friend, and doth neglect it, is justly falling scorn'd, and sinks unpitied. Have you for this endur'd so bitter tryals, to be at length a foe to your own safety? Did you outrun your Troubles, suffering meanly, but to return unto your first condition? If it be so, I must approve your Reasons, and say your grounds were like your project, hopeful; You see your glorious Mor­ning now turn'd cloudy; the Kingdom doth repine to see our Greatness, yet have no hope but in the King deposed; who [Page 153] taken away, what fear can justly move us? Your youthful Son we'll rule till he grows older, and in that time esta­blish such a Greatness, as he shall hardly touch or dare to question. To cast a world of doubts is vain and senseless, where we enforc'd must either act or perish; and to be nice in that hath no election, doth waste out time, and not pre­vent the errour: If you stick fast in this your tender pity, I must in justice then accuse my fortune, that gave my heart to such a female Weakness. Is there a disproportion in this action, to keep the Crown with bloud, that was so gotten? Is there a more restraint to keep than get by Trea­son? If so, I yield, and will sit still and ruine. Had Ed­ward known or fear'd, he had prevented, nor you nor I had had the Power to hurt him: But he neglected time, and now repents it; and so must we, if we embrace his errour. Fear is far less in sense than apparition, and makes the shadow greater than the subject, which makes a faintness as the Fancy leads it, where is small reason to be so affected. You urge it cannot be concealed or hidden. I not deny but it may be discovered; such deeds may yet be so contrived and acted, that they prevent all proof, if not suspicion. But why do I spend time in this perswasion? let him get free, whom we so much have wronged, let him examine our pro­ceedings, sift our actions, perhaps he will forget, forgive, be reeonciled: and spare your tears, left that your mighty Brother should chance grow angry: if you lose your Greatness, you may if you be pleased abide the tryal. Mortimer's resolv'd, since you refuse his judgment, you neither prize his safety, nor his service; and therefore he will seek some other refuge before it be too late, and too far hopeless.

Mortimer flings away.With this he flings away in discontentment, as if he meant with speed to quit the Kingdom. The amazed Queen pursues and overtakes him, who seem'd unwil­ling to prolong the treaty: The Queens expostulati­on.Stay, gentle Mortimer, (quoth she) I am a Woman, fitter to hear and take ad­vice, than give it; think not I prize thee in so mean a fashion, as to despise thy Safety or thy Council. Must Ed­ward [Page 154] dye, and is there no prevention? Oh wretched state of Greatness, frail Condition, that is preserv'd by Bloud, secur'd by Murder! She unwil­lingly con­sents to the Kings Death.I dare not say I yield, or yet deny it; Shame stops the one, the other Fear forbiddeth: only I beg I be not made partaker, or privy to the time, the means, the manner.’With this she weeps, and fain would have recanted, but she saw in that course a double danger.

Mortimer, that had now what he lookt for, assures her he would undergo the act and hazard; which would not have moved, if not inforced by those strong motives of their certain danger. The Kings Keepers changed.He requests alone the King might seal a Warrant, that he may change anew his former Keepers. Sir Morice Barcklaye, as it seems, had been aloof off treated with, but was not pliable, or apt to fasten; he was both careful of his Charge, and Masters Safety; this takes him suddenly from his custody. Sir Thomas Towurlie supplies his place, with his old partner; He is re­moved to Corf Castle.they having received their new War­rant, and their Royal Prisoner, carry him by sudden and hasty Journeys to Cork-Castle, the place that in all the world he most hated. Some say that he was foretold by a certain Magician, who as it seems was his Crafts­master, that this place was to him both fatal and omi­nous. 'Twas ill in him to seek by such ill and unlawful means the knowledge of that, which being known did but augment his sorrow. Whatsoever the cause was, his arrival here makes him deeply heavy, sad and me­lancholy: his Keepers, to repel this humour, and to take him off from all fear and suspicion, feed him with new hopes and pleasant discourse, improving his former entertainment both in his Diet and Attendance; while his misgiving spirit suspects the issue: Though he would fain have fashion'd his belief to give them credit, yet he had such a dull cloud about his heart, it could re­ceive no comfort.

The fatal Night in which he suffer'd shipwrack, he eats a hearty Supper, but stays not to disgest it; imme­diately [Page 155] he goes to Bed, with sorrow heavy; assoon he takes his Rest, and sleeps securely, not dreaming of his end so near approaching. He is mur­dered.Midnight the Patron of this horrid Murder being newly come, this Crew of per­jur'd Traitors steal softly to his Chamber, finding him in a sweet and quiet Sleep, taking away his Life in that advantage.

The Historians of these Times differ both in the time, place, and manner of his Death; yet all agree, that he was foully and inhumanly murther'd, yet so, that there was no visible or apparent signe which way 'twas acted. A small tract of time discovers the Actors, and shews evidently that it was done by an extremity of Violence: they long escape not: though Mortimer's greatness for the present time keep them both from question and puishment, yet by the Divine Justice they all meet with a miserable and unpitied Death; and the Master-work-man himself in a few years after suffered an ignominious Execution.

The Queen, who was guilty but in circumstance, and but an accessory to the Intention, not the Fact, tasted with a bitter time of Repentance, what it was but to be quoted in the Margent of such a Story; the several relations so variously exprest of their Confessions, that were the Actors and Consenters to this deed, differ so mainly, that it may be better past over in silence, than so much as touch'd; especially since if it were in that cruel manner, as is by the major part agreed on, it was one of the most inhumane and barbarous acts that ever fell within the expression of all our English Stories; fitter rather to be pass'd over in silence, than to be discours'd, since it both dishonoureth our Nation, and is in the Example so dangerous. It seems Mortimer was yet a Novice to Spencer's Art, of that same Italian trick of Poysoning, which questionless had wrought this work as surely, with a less noise, and fewer agents: It had been happy if such a Villany had never gain'd know­ledge [Page 156] or imitation in the World: since it came to be entertain'd as a necessary servant of State, no man that runs in opposition, or stands in the way of Greatness, is almost secure in his own house, or among his Friends or Servants. I would to God we had not fresh in our Memory so many bleeding Examples, or that this Diabolical Practice might stop his career with the Mis­chief it hath already done: But so long as the close con­veyance is deemed a Politick Vertue, and the Instru­ments by Power and Favour are protected, what can be expected, but that in short time it must fall under the compass of a Trade or Mystery, as fit for private Mur­therers as Statesmen?

But leaving the professors of this execrable practice to their deserts, and that guilt which still torments them; Thus fell that unfortunate King Edward the Second, who by the course of Age and Nature might have out­run many years, had not his own Disorder, the Infi­delity of his Subjects, and the Treachery of those that had deprived him of his Kingdome, sent him to an un­timely Death and Ruine. Many Reasons are given, probable enough, to instance the necessity of his Fall, which questionless may be the secondary means; but his Doom was register'd by the inscrutable Providence of Heaven, which with the self-same Sentence punish'd both him and Richard the Second his great Grandchild, who was coequally guilty of the same Errours, that both betrayed them and the Peace of their Kingdome. Henry the Sixth, though he tasted of the same Cup of Deposition, yet there was more reason to induce it: Henry the Fourth his Grandfather was an Usurper, and had unjustly got the Crown by pulling down the House of York, and exalting that of Lancaster, which in Ju­stice brings it back again to the right Inheritour; yet were not those times innocent of those enormities which occasion'd their confusion. It is most true, that Henry himself was a sweet harmless condition'd Man, religious, [Page 157] and full of Moral Goodness; but he was fitter for a Cloister than a Crown, being transported with a Di­vine Rapture of Contemplation, that took him off from the care of all Worldly Affairs; while Margaret his Wife, Daughter of Reynard that stil'd himself King of Naples and Jerusalem, acted her part with a like imita­tion; though she had not a Gaveston, a Spencer, or a Duke of Ireland, yet she had a Suffolk, and a Somer­set, that could teach the same way to the Destruction and Deposition of her Husband.

These three sympathized in their Royal Inheritance, in their Depositions, Deaths, and Fortunes; and these alone, since the Conquest of the Normans, unless we rank into the number Edward the Fifth, which must be with an impropriety, since he was by Richard his Ty­rannical Uncle murdered before he was Crowned: If we example him with them, we may it is true con­clude his case most miserable, that lost the Crown be­fore he enjoy'd it, or had the perfection of years to make known his Inclination. The event that followed the others, especially the two precedent, may be fitly a Caution and Admonition to Posterity, and teach them what it is to hazard a Kingdome, and their own Lives, by the continuing of a wilful Errour. Certainly we have had other Kings fully as vicious, that have out-liv'd their Vices, not dying by a violent hand, but by the ordinary and easie course of Nature; they were more cautelous and flexible, and were content in the more moderate use of their own Vices.

The Condition of this our Edward, the subject of this Story, was not in it self more hurtful, than dange­rous to the Peace and Tranquillity of the whole King­dome. If by Heat of Youth, Height of Fortune, or the Corruptions of Nature, the Royal Affections flie loosely and at random; yet if it extend no farther than the satisfaction of the private Appetite, it may obscure the glory, but not supplant the strength and safety of a [Page 158] Scepter. But when it is not only vicious in it self, but doth patronize it in others, not blushing or shrinking in the justification, it is a fore-running and presaging Evidence, that threatens danger, if not destruction. It is much in a King, that hath so great a Charge deli­ver'd over to his care and custody, to be himself dis­solute, licentious, and ill-affected; but when he falls into a second errour, making more delinquents Kings, where one is too much, he brings all into disorder, and makes his Kingdome rather a Stage of Oppression, than the Theater of Justice, which opens the ready way to an ensuing Misery. The heart of the Subject as it is obliged, so it is continued by the Majesty and Good­ness of the King: if either prove prostitute, it unties the links of Affection; those lost, the breach of Duty succeeds, which hunts after nothing but Change and Innovation. The bridle of the Laws is too weak a re­striction, especially when it is infring'd by him, that is most bound to protect it. Neither can the King in Ju­stice blame or punish the breach, when he himself goes the way of subversion of those Precepts, which should preserve his Peace and Obedience. It is so singular and so weighty a Consideration, that a Burthen should never be imposed upon the Subject by extent of the Prero­gative; that may beget a just Grievance, besides the grief in payment; the novelty of the act, incites to a tu­multuous opposition. Where there is neither Law to warrant, nor fit president to induce the Injustice of the demand, such actions begin in Complaint, which unredressed fall into an extremity, which draws with it a desperate hazard. If the tye of Duty and Alle­geance preserve the Obedience to the Crown inviolate, let him beware that is the Prime Instrument, or Seducer; for he must be persecuted with implacable hatred, which ends not until he be made a Sacrifice to expiate and quench the fury, or the endangering of his Master by his unjust Protection. It is no less proper for the Ma­jesty [Page 159] and Goodness of a King, in case of a general Complaint, to leave those great Cedars to the trial of the Law, and their own purgation; this makes known the integrity and equality of his Justice, which should not be extended to the grubbing up of Brambles and Shrubs, while monstrous Enormities of a greater height and danger scape unlopped. The accumulation of his Favour, though it be a property of his own Power, yet ought it in some measure to be satisfactory, as well in the present worth of him elected, as in his future progression; else in the continuance he windes himself into the danger of participating his hatred, as well as protection of his Errour. The eye of the Subject waits curiously upon their Sovereigns actions, which if they seem to degenerate from his Wisdome and Greatness, and preferring a private Inconvenience before the re­dress of a publick Grievance, it by degrees varies the integrity of the heart, and begets a liberty of Speech; which fall often on the actions of Revolt and Tumult. Neither is it proper (if there must be a Dotage in the Royal Affections) that the object of their weakness should sway and manage the Affairs of State; such an Intermixture begets Confusion, and Disorder, accom­panied with Envy, Hatred, and a world of Errours: If the King be never so innocent, yet in this course he cannot avoid the actions of Injustice. Experience tells the right use of a Favourite. A good Cause in the integrity of time warrants it self, and needs no sup­porter: But Imperfection, Fraud, Dishonesty, and Weakness in true Worth, fly to his protection, that by his strength they may prevail, which in Equity and Justice are meerly corrupt and counterfeit: Money, Friends, or Favour engageth him, and he his Master; hence proceed all manner of Oppression and Disorder. Let the Spring-head be never so pure and unpolluted, yet such a Diver makes it foul and muddy. A smooth Tongue finding a favourable hearing, sets a fair gloss [Page 160] upon the blackest Overture; Love and a seeming Good­ness leads, where all seems currant; which hatches daily broods of grief and mischief: Thus doth the Kingdom suffer, so misguided. Had this unhappy sub­ject of this Story not been thus abused, had he been worser far, he had subsisted; but when for his inglo­rious Minions, Gaveston and Spencer, who successively enjoy'd him, he made the Kingdome a prey to their Insolence, he found both Heaven and Earth conspir'd his ruine. So great a Fall these latter times produce not; a King in a potent Kingdome of his own, deposed by a handful of Strangers, who principally occasioned it, without so much as any Kinsman, Friend, or Subject that either with his Tongue or Sword declar'd himself in his Quarrel. But you may object, He fell by Infi­delity and Treason, as have many other that went be­fore and followed him. 'Tis true; but yet withal ob­serve, here was no second Pretendents, but those of his own, a Wife, and a Son, which were the greatest Traytors; had he not indeed been a Traytor to him­self, they could not all have wronged him. But my weary Pen doth now desire a respite; wherefore leaving the perfection of this, to those better Abilities that are worthy to give it a more full expression; I rest, until some more fortunate Subject invite a new Rela­tion.

AN Alphabetical TABLE.

    • RObert of Artois his Character. Page 105
    • His speech. 106
  • Arundel Hanged 130

    • Barons, the Kings Speech to them 5
    • They swear not to recall Gaveston 7
    • Are slighted by the King 18
    • Perswade him to Marry Ibid.
    • Take up Arms 29
    • Seize Gaveston, and Behead him 30
    • They are incensed 53
    • Take Arms again 55
    • Their Message to the King 56
    • Appear with a Guard 58
    • King writes to them 66
    • Their Answer Ibid.
    • They rise 69
    • Are beaten, and fly to Pontfract 70
    • Are pursued, and repair to Councel 71
    • Speech in favour of them Ibid.
    • Bristol City desires a Treaty with the Queen 124
    • Is yielded to her 125
    • Barwick betrayed to the Scots 42
    • Besieged by the King 45
    • Deserted by him 47
  • Sir Barth. Baldesmere's Castle seized 68
    • Baldock's Speech 93
    • Is committed to Newgate 143

  • Carlisle Earl Executed 84
    • Cliffords Speech 54
    • Killed 71
    • Councel labour to divert the King from re-calling Gaveston 13
    • They consent to re-call him 15
    • Cautious Speech for Gaveston 10
  • Chester Bishop Imprisoned 21

  • Sir Josline Denvil infests the North 43
  • A great Dearth 45

  • Exeter forsakes the Queen 108

    • French King breaks Peace with Eng­land 85
    • Receives the Queen of England 97
    • Threatens the King 98
    • Shews the Queen the Popes Sentence 103
    • Perswades her to Peace 104

    • Gaveston Banished 4
    • His Character Ibid.
    • Re called home again 12
    • He returns 17
    • [Page] And is Married 19
    • Created Earl of Cornwal Ibid.
    • Chief Minister of State 20
    • Imprisons the Bishop of Chester 21
    • Is Banisht a second time 23
    • Re called again 25
    • Is Banisht a third time 27
    • Returns again 29
    • Is seized by the Barons, and Beheaded 30

  • Sir Andrew Harcklay repulses the Ba­rons 71
  • Hereford killed. Ibid.
    • Earl of Heynault welcomes the Queen 110
    • Reproves his Brother 111
    • His Brothers Answer 112
    • Rewarded, and departs the Kingdom 145

    • King Edward I. his care in educating his Son 2
    • He Banishes Gaveston 4
    • He dies 5
    • King Edward II. his Birth and Cha­racter 1
    • Swears not to re-call Gaveston 7
    • Is troubled at his Oath 8
    • Falls into Melancholy 9
    • Sends for Gaveston 12
    • Acquaints his Councel therewith 13
    • Their Answer Ibid.
    • His angry Reply Ibid.
    • His Marriage 19
    • His Son Edward of Windsor born 28
    • He vows revenge for the Death of Gaveston 32
    • His Speech to Lancaster 34
    • Calls a Parliament 36
    • Goes against the Scots 38
    • Is defeated 39
    • Goes against them again 42
    • Is angry they refuse a Peace 44
    • Requires two Cardinals, and sends them home Ibid.
    • Besieges Barwick 45
    • Leaves it again 47
    • Seeks a new Favorite 48
    • Takes Spencer 49
    • Barons take Arms against him 55
    • His Proclamation against Morti­mer Ibid.
    • Answers their Message 57
    • His Speech to the Parliament 58
    • His Answer to the Merchants Peti­tion against Spencer 65
    • Opposes the Barons 69
    • Seizes the two Mortimers Ibid.
    • Beats the Barons 70
    • Kills Hereford, Clifford and Mow­bray 71
    • Takes Lancaster and others Ibid.
    • Is moved for revenge Ibid.
    • His Reply upon it 72
    • Beheads Lancaster and twenty two more 73
    • Calls a Parliament 81
    • Repulses the Scots, and invades Scotland 83
    • Looseth his Treasure 84
    • Advises with Spencer 86
    • Will not consent to the Queens going 90
    • Sad at her departure 92
    • Complains to the Pope 102
    • He suspects the City of London 120
    • Removes to Bristol 121
    • Gets into the Castle 127
    • Betakes to a Bark and is seized Ibid.
    • Sent to Berkley Castle 128
    • Is removed in Disguise 147
    • His Complaint 148
    • Is upbraided 149
    • His Keepers changed 154
    • He is removed to Corf Castle Ibid.
    • He is Murdered 155
    • The young King Crowned 142
  • [Page] Kingdomes resentment of the Bishop of Chesters Imprisonment 21

    • Lincolns Speech to the King 22
    • Death 34
    • Lancaster surprized 71
    • Beheaded with twenty two more 73

  • Sir Gilbert de Middleton Executed 43
    • Mortimer spoils Spencer 55
    • Is committed to the Tower 89
    • Is favoured by the Queen 142
    • Moves the Kings Death 151
    • His Answer to the Queen 152
    • He flings away 153
  • Merchants Petition 65
  • Mowbray killed 71
    • Black Monks incite the people 144
    • Their Captain is clapt by the heels and dies Ibid.

  • Navy set out 94

    • Parliament call'd 36
    • Called again 81
    • Give the sixth Penny 82
    • Called by the Queen 130
    • They resolve to Depose the King 131
    • The Speaker reads the Sentence 132
    • Poydras of Exeter pretends himself King 40
    • Is Hanged at Northampton Ibid.
    • His strange Confession Ibid.
    • Pope sends two Cardinals to Medi­ate a Peace 42
    • They go for Scotland, and are Robb'd 43
    • Return. 44
    • Requited, and sent home Ibid.
    • He Excommunicates the Scots King and Kingdom Ibid.
    • Admonishes the French King to quit the Queen. 103
  • Prodigious sights. Ibid.
  • Ports stopt 94

    • Queen offers to go for France 88
    • Favours Mortimer 89
    • Pretends a journey of Devotion 91
    • Embarks for France Ibid.
    • Is Tainted 94
    • Entertain'd in France 95
    • Her Address 96
    • Enticed to return 103
    • Tells the French King of it Ibid.
    • Advises on the same 104
    • Joyful at Artois Council 106
    • Her farewell to France 108
    • Her welcome to Heynault 109
    • Jealous of Treachery 113
    • Embarks at Dort 115
    • Frighted at Sea 116
    • Lands at Harwich Ibid.
    • Joyns Lancaster 118
    • Writes to the Mayor of London 121
    • Is received into the City Ibid.
    • She goes for Bristol 123
    • Refuses a Treaty, and gives Summons 124
    • Takes that City 125
    • Batters the Castle 127
    • Takes the King Ibid.
    • Sends him to Berkley-Castle 128
    • Her Cruelty 129
    • Comes to London 130
    • Calls a Parliament Ibid.
    • Her Speech to Mortimer 151
    • Her Expostulation 153
    • She unwillingly consents to the Kings death 154

  • [Page]
    • Scots adhere to Bruce 36
    • Refuse a Peace 44
    • Excommunicated Ibid.
    • Over-run the borders 45
    • Opposed Ibid.
    • Beat A. B. York 46
    • Invade England and Ireland 82
    • Are repulst, and Bruce slain 83
    • Seize the Kings Treasure 84
  • Scotland Invaded by the King 83
  • Bishop Stapleton Beheaded 121
  • Sir Walter de Selby Executed 43
    • Sir Peter Spalden made Governour of Barwick 42
    • Betrays it to the Scots Ibid.
    • Spencer taken into favour 49
    • His Policy 51
    • Commons Charge against him 61
    • Banished 62
    • His Son a Pyrate 64
    • They return 67
    • Move for Revenge 71
    • His Advice to the King 86
    • Bribes the French 99
    • He is taken at Bristol 125
    • Executed by the Multitude 126
    • His Son taken 127
    • Hanged 130

  • Tresilian Hanged. 143

    • A. B. York opposes the Scots 45
    • Is beaten by them 46

Cottoni Posthuma: Divers Choice Pieces, wherein are discussed several Important Questions, concerning the Right and Power of the Lords and Commons in Parliament. By the Renowned Antiquary Sir Robert Cotton Baronet. London: Printed by M. C. for C. Harper, and are to be Sold in Fleet-street, the Exchange, and Westminster.

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